Joey Whelan's prospect report ranks the best in college hoops every other week. The previous ranking is in parentheses.
1. Blake Griffin – Oklahoma (1)
The name of this column should be changed to “Top 10 Prospects After Blake Griffin” because barring injury, the Sooner big man will not be supplanted from his lofty perch; not while competing at the college level. Since entering conference play in the Big 12 the sophomore has averaged 22.4 points and 13.2 rebounds while shooting nearly 54% from the field. It isn’t just the numbers though, it’s the out of this world athleticism that makes Griffin one of the few players in the country who I will make me stop whatever I am doing to watch.
2. James Harden – Arizona State (2)
For the first time all year Harden looked human after his 4-point, 0-8 performance in a loss versus USC. The nation’s top shooting guard has rebounded nicely though, going over the 20-point mark in the Sun Devils last two games; wins over UCLA and Arizona.
3. Greg Monroe – Georgetown (3)
Likely the top freshman in the country at this point, Monroe is continuing to post consistent, solid numbers in Big East play. In his last five games he has accumulated averages of 12.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists, not overwhelmingly impressive alone, but when taking into account the amount of talent on Georgetown, it’s safe to say Monroe would post higher numbers elsewhere. His near triple-double in a win over Providence was one of his best showings of the season.
4. Jordan Hill – Arizona (5)
Hill just seems to be getting better and better each time he steps out onto the court. He almost single handedly carried Arizona to a come from behind win over Houston on Saturday, netting a season high 30 points to go along with 18 rebounds and 4 blocks. In seven Pac-10 games, Hill has four double-doubles.
5. Jeff Teague – Wake Forest (NA)
NBA scouts love to see good players step up in big games; Teague has done just that. In the two biggest games of the year for the Demon Decons (wins over UNC and Clemson) the sophomore guard averaged 29 points, 4 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He had an excellent run during Wake’s non conference schedule, and has been nothing short of red hot since ACC play has started. This combo guard is getting more and more popular by the game.
6. Earl Clark – Louisville (7)
The Cardinals are on a roll, standing atop the Big East at 6-0 including wins over four ranked conference opponents. Clark may be on an even bigger roll after posting double-doubles in all four wins over ranked teams. In fact, the only game that Clark hasn’t recorded a double-double in the past 2+ weeks came in a win over Rutgers last Wednesday.
7. Hasheem Thabeet – Connecticut (6)
Given his massive frame, shock blocking ability and enticing potential, it is going to take a lot to knock Thabeet out of the top ten. With that said, the senior center hasn’t exactly been putting together strings of great game lately. His 15 and 17 showing in a win over Seton Hall last week was his first big game in several weeks.
8. Stephen Curry – Davidson (8)
Curry looks like he may have regained his shooting touch, albeit against the less than competitive SoCon, but he is hitting his shots nonetheless. Davidson has won six straight, and their star has recorded back to back 30-point games while shooting a stellar 13-22 from beyond the arc in those two games.
9. Ty Lawson – North Carolina (4)
Lawson’s scoring consistency as started to waiver somewhat recently, and he had a poor shooting performance in the biggest game of the year so far for the Tar Heels; a loss to Wake Forest. The assist numbers have stayed up though, as the junior has still managed to heavily influence the action on the floor, dishing out more than 7 assists per game in his last four games.
10. B.J. Mullens – Ohio State (NA)
The thing about being a physically gifted 7-footer with loads of potential is that with the faintest signs of developing on the court and your stock starts climbing again. After a slow start where he wasn’t seeing much playing time, Mullens has reached double figure scoring and played at least twenty minutes in his last six games.
Dropped Out: Kyle Singler (9), Gani Lawal (10)
Next in Line: Kyle Singler, Duke; Patrick Patterson, Kentucky; Demar DeRozan, USC; Willie Warren, Oklahoma; Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech
Jodie Meeks – Kentucky
Ok, so clearly at this point this shouldn’t come as a shock to see his name here given the last two weeks, but Meeks has yet to be mentioned in this space. The 54 points dropped on Tennessee was ridiculous, there is no other word for it. But combine that with a 28-point showing against Louisville and the fact that he has yet to fail to eclipse 20 points just once in over a month, and Meeks’ stock is scorching right now.
At 6’4” he will be an undersized shooting guard at the next level, so to really help his stock he needs to improve on his ability to distribute the basketball, become more of a combo guard. His range and ability to create off the dribble though are more than enough to entice teams to take a good long look at Meeks and at the very least invite him to participate in the summer league.
Greivis Vasquez – Maryland
Ever since the Terps reeled off seven straight wins in their non conference schedule Vasquez has been struggling to find the basket. Over his last six games the junior is shooting just 27.9% from the field and an abysmal 15.6% from beyond the arc. Making matters worse he has been getting into it with Maryland fans and prior to the drubbing the Terps received at the hands of Duke, Vasquez was popping off about owning Cameron Indoor Stadium. In Maryland’s toughest test of the season their floor general managed 4 points on 2-10 shooting with 2 assists.