@Dinner Arizona is basically the sweetheart of sports writers and the refs and they don't want to admit it. It's obvious to everyone watching football that they're not better than Carolina, let alone Minnesota or probably even Green Bay. But the media keeps up with this "best team in the NFC" silliness and the refs keep handing them calls they apparently think everyone is too blind to see. Fortunately Carson Palmer will predictably implode when playoff time comes around and either Honey Badger or Patrick Peterson will find a way to get injured again.
Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State, Fr.
I don't care if it was against IUPUI (ooooo-weeeee-pooooo-eeeee) or if it did come the day after his uncle's funeral, anytime a freshman puts up 40 points and 13 boards in a college basketball game, it is extremely impressive. The most astonishing part of his double-double was his 23 trips to the free throw line. That shows Sullinger's ability to establish position on the block and demand the basketball.
His big body can do the rest of the work but having a variety of post moves and a soft touch around the rim like Sullinger does certainly adds to his success. The Buckeye freshman is cementing his status as one of the top prospects for the 2011 NBA Draft.
Rick Jackson, PF, Syracuse, Sr.
If the season ended today, Jackson would securely have a spot in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. He has posted seven double-doubles in nine games including a 17-point, 16-rebound performance in Cuse's win against Michigan State. Jackson is not a great offensive threat but there is always a need for a physical, rebounding presence off the bench in the NBA.
Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas, Soph.
Stuck behind Cole Aldrich and the Morris twins last season, Robinson was pretty much a non-factor for the Jayhawks during his freshman campaign. But Robinson has really impressed me this year. He has a good combination of athleticism, length and physicality, and has shown tremendous strides early this season. Robinson will not be turning pro this summer, but if one of both of the Morris twins do declare for the 2011 NBA Draft, his role will only increase next season. More minutes and steady growth will have him in late lottery discussions moving forward.
Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt, Jr.
The 6-11, 255-pounder has really shown development in his offensive game to complement his big body. He put up 24 points and 10 rebounds against Belmont and followed that up with a 16-9 outing against Missouri. His post game is still a work in progress but has really improved. With size always a need in the NBA, it is not crazy to think that he would get first-round looks.
2011 NFL Draft Stock: Selling
Wesley Witherspoon, SF, Memphis, Jr.
I was fully on the Witherspoon bandwagon entering the season, thinking he would be much improved as the leader of a young Tiger team and could be a possible lottery pick. Instead, Witherspoon remains an athletic, talented wing who has still not reached potential and looks more like a borderline first-round pick if he were to declare after this season. His shot selection remains questionable and he tends to float in and out of games if his jumper is not falling. If he does not pick up his play this season, there is a really good chance that he will be returning for his senior season.
Chandler Parsons, SF, Florida, Sr.
I sort of felt like a lot of other draft sites were overvaluing Parsons coming into this season when they had him as a high second-round pick. Parsons has not shown anything to make me believe that he truly belongs in the league. He has scored in single digits in five of the last six games, and has not shot the ball well which is supposed to be his strong suit. At this point, I would be surprised if he got drafted.