The best 100 players in college basketball

  • @Statmachine


    And the next question is answered… Kentucky has 6 and 2 in the just missed category.

    If you consider that we almost beat them in the NC game without a single McDs AA, then you have to like our chances when we hook up soon.

  • I am always leery of any ranking that places players that have yet to play a game in college over proven talent. and some players are obviously way overrated. I am not sure I agree with Terran Petteway as #15? Isn’t he the former Texas Tech. player that acted like real punk a couple of years ago against KU? He was OK at Nebraska but #15? I don’t think so, Perry Ellis is much better and ranked lower. Why is Myles Turner #34 and Karl Anthony Towns #7? Wasn’t Turner ranked higher out of HS? Obvious UK bias perhaps?

    Texas has also several payers (4?) and WSU has 2 in the top 20.

  • When I say the title I was thinking it was all-time and my mind went Wilt, Manning, Lovelette,

  • I have no issue with ranking freshman so high. Many of the freshmen are the most talented players in the country. I am more leery of ranking juniors and seniors, as many of those players are not as talented and may have already peaked from a production standpoint.

    For instance, they are basically saying that Van Vleet and Marcus Paige are the two best guards in the country. I doubt that quite a bit.

    Looking at the ceiling of certain guys, I would have ranked Turner, Dekker, Oubre and Brandon Ashley much higher (probably all in the top 30). I would have ranked Van Vleet likely outside the top 10 because I struggle to believe that he is one of the best 2 guards in the entire nation. He had an incredible year last year and led an undefeated team. He is really good, but I think the run last year has converted WSU’s guys from underappreciated to probably overrated.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I like Petteway as a player. He is very good. He shot down my Badgers last year. We couldn’t stop him.

  • My Badgers perspective again. Nigel Hayes was a beast as a freshman and has added a 3 pointer to his arsenal. He’s going to be very good this year. Every team in the country would love to have him on their roster.

    I think Josh Gasser is a great player too, probably deserves top 100. His defense is what puts his game in top 100, much of the list doesn’t pay much attention to that methinks.

  • @wissoxfan83

    This is what I remember of Petteway when KU blasted Texas Tech in Lubbock 81-46…

    "Texas Tech’s Terran Petteway was ejected in the first half after he was called for a flagrant foul on Conner Teahan. Petteway elbowed Teahan and was escorted off the floor.

    About 3 minutes earlier, Petteway got hit with a technical foul as Travis Releford tried to inbound the ball…"

    He did not strike me then as a particularly good player then and, considering that Nebraska was the top team that would take him, apparently other coaches were not impressed either. Now, do you think Petteway is better than Ellis? I don’t think so, yet he is ranked much higher than Ellis.

  • @justanotherfan

    Van Vleet is really. really good and so is Baker that is ranked appropriately high as well. I will say that playing for WSU actually undervalues them. If they played for an elite school, they both would likely be ranked higher.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Is Van Vleet the second best PG in the country? That’s where he is ranked. Is Ron Baker the fourth best SG in the country? That’s where he is ranked. That seems a bit high to me for both of those guys.

    Take it another way. Would you rather have on your team this year Fred Van Vleet playing PG or Juwan Staten playing PG? I’d take Staten. There aren’t more than a handful of big guys I would take over Turner and Ashley. There aren’t many wings I’d take over Oubre and Dekker.

    I look at it like a college basketball schoolyard pickup game. If you gave any coach a pick in the game, would Van Vleet really be the sixth guy picked? Really? I’m not saying he wouldn’t be one of the top 20 or 25 picks, but sixth?

    Would Sam Dekker really not get picked until 32 other guys got picked? I doubt it. Dekker would be one of the first 25 guys picked in my opinion. Would Oubre last that long? Doubtful.

    Compare it to the NBA. Assuming everyone in the NBA was healthy right now, and there was a massive pickup game with real stakes, the first two picks would be Lebron and Kevin Durant. Those are the best two players on the planet and if you were picking with, as Bill Simmons said, your life hanging in the balance, there is no way you would pick anyone other than those two guys in that order with the first two picks. It’s a silly premise because no one would ever do that sort of thing, but it puts things in perspective.

    Taking that to this level, if you were picking a college basketball pickup tournament with 8 teams in it, would you seriously take Fred Van Vleet with your first pick if your life depended on the outcome of the tournament? Of course not. Van Vleet is good, but not so good that I would grab him with my first pick in a game that was actually important. With pick 16 or 17? Maybe so, Pick six? Nah, give me someone elite - a Kaminsky or at least a Georges Niang.

  • @justanotherfan

    The school yard pick up game is not a valid comparison since most good school yard players are not as good when playing college ball and the reverse is equally true. This why many if not most of the greater playground players ever tried and could not make it to the NBA. School yard/playground play emphasizes individual showmanship and one-up-manship and team play is not a priority.

    Like I said, I do not agree with a lot if not most of the rankings as presented in the story. I mentioned one example, Petteway, that is ranked well above Ellis who I believe is the better player. The list is one person’s opinion and obviously we all have our own preferences and biases and if you ask 10 college beat writers to come up with a list, I am sure they would all be vastly different, just like our opinions as forum members are, not better, not worse…just different.

  • This list is fun to look at since it is the off-season but it is pretty silly. I passionately hate Kentucky but how in the world are the Harrison twins so far down on the list? They were the reason that an up and down UK squad went all the way to the title game last year as an #8 seed. Are we talking about the best players in college basketball or the guys who are going to be highest in the NBA draft next year? The #1 guy on the list has never played in a college basketball game. That right there makes this list a joke. Why is Oubre so high on this list? We don’t even know if he is going to be a starter. How many times do we have to see over-hyped Freshman not play up to their billing to realize that these lists give too much credit to High School seniors? Wiggins, Randle, Gordon and the rest of the “best freshman class of all time” were all good players but not the best players in the country for most if not the entire year. Rarely are these kids Durant, Melo, etc.

    Sorry for the rant. Rock Chalk.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Those are good arguments against Petteway. I don’t remember any of that happening. What I do remember is watching him last year in Big10 play and he was very good. Is he better than Ellis? Who knows? They’re both very good. I’m not smart enough to compare players like that.

  • @JayHawkFanToo : I can’t be for certain but I take @justanotherfan 's analogy of school yard balling is in reference to when you are in grade school and picking your team. I don’t think @justanotherfan is referencing the actual style of school yard ball that has lots of ball hoggery, no out of bounds, imaginary three point line, ect…

    I think you could also use a fantasy football analogy in this situation too but since I don’t play FF I don’t know what it would be. 😉

  • @joeloveshawks

    “How many times do we have to see over-hyped Freshman not play up to their billing to realize that these lists give too much credit to High School seniors?”

    It’s our society. Our society wants new, fresh talent… it’s always the NEXT player. Part of that “instant gratification” process.

    Teams that build with non-OADs require fan patience. That team’s fans will be there, but the country wants to experience the new greatest sensation.

  • @drgnslayr I have a different list for POY… My top 3 list is as follows:

    1. Wayne Selden
    2. Perry Ellis
    3. The rest of the KU team

    Our goal should be to win the SEC in non- conference games, then win conference, then win the NC. We will be a lean, mean, winning machine.

  • @drgnslayr I guess that would be me. I want the best recruits we can get. I also hope they will stay 2-3 years. They need to change the rule, if they don’t, I think we still have to get the top guys. I want to win!

  • I want the best recruits, too.

    But let’s look at Perry Ellis. If everything goes right for Perry he is a guy who will serve 4 years at Kansas, and will have made big improvements every year.

    If he can become a more dominant offensive and defensive player over the next two years that will be a big achievement. And he can add the long ball to his tool box. And more ball skills. He will earn his way into the NBA by working harder than the competition because he doesn’t have some of the natural gifts other players have.

    That is a long road for Perry, and he will have worked his butt off, including changing a bit of his own personality during the process.

    Still… Perry will never receive the same attention as the hot new kids on the block. It has taken him too long to acquire the attention of non-KU fans.

    But what is more impressive… a kid with a lot of natural talent who is steering it to a basketball career? Or a kid who went through a long tough process of D1 that required him to work hard for 4 years and build skills that didn’t come easy, while adapting his personality somewhat to better fit his role?

    I always favor those players with an uphill battle. Perry is one of those players. So is Conner. And I believe both of these guys are going to do nothing but improve (big time) every year!

    Gosh… when is our first game? Baseball is done, bring on basketball!

  • @KUSTEVE said:

    @drgnslayr I have a different list for POY… My top 3 list is as follows:

    1. Wayne Selden
    2. Perry Ellis
    3. The rest of the KU team

    Our goal should be to win the SEC in non- conference games, then win conference, then win the NC. We will be a lean, mean, winning machine.

    At first I thought you meant we were in the SEC and I started to wonder if you weren’t Cal?? Now I get that you mean beat UK and UF.

  • @drgnslayr Perry will be a jr, so I think we can say he improved from freshman year to soph year. So to say he made improvements every year, might be a tad premature. I bet he has, but I need to wait til season starts. Guys that stayed awhile recently, Releford, TT, TRob, Withey, Kevin Young, Sherron, Cole, Mario and the rest of 2012, 88 teams, had passion and that’s why I love those guys! But, I also love Ben,wigs, Embiid, and Tarik. I follow all Jayhawks.

  • @Kip_McSmithers My hair isn’t greasy enough to be Cal. Plus, I’m much better looking. <snort>

  • @Crimsonorblue22 " I want to win!" I like the way you think. BTW, Kenpom has his preseason rankings up. He has the good guys ranked 4th:

  • @drgnslayr

    The assumption that Perry Ellis will continue to improve is a riskier proposition than the assumption that a freshman will come in and be productive.

    Perry Ellis has a certain skill set that we have seen against collegiate competition. We have seen both his strengths and his weaknesses at the D1 level. Perry is a very skilled player. We all know that. But although he is a good athlete, he is not a great athlete and he has problems against top notch athletes. He also has issues against, bigger guys. There is no guarantee that he has shored up that issue over the summer.

    Has he improved his game use vertical by 2-3 inches? Is he quicker? Has he extended his range to 21 feet consistently? Is he a markedly better ball handler? I haven’t heard anyone around KU’s program say any of those things about him outright. He may have polished his game more, but the body of his game likely hasn’t changed, which means he probably still isn’t an NBA caliber player.

    I was sitting at a basketball tournament once talking to some college assistant coaches (or eavesdropping on their conversation). They were discussing a couple of players that were on the floor and noting the differences. One said very simply - “Player X is already what he is going to be. Player Y has maybe one more year of big development in him.”

    Most coaches say they want big improvement every year, but the truth is that they know that most guys aren’t going to improve much after their sophomore year. By then they have gotten stronger, adapted to the college game, etc. They are what they are going to be for the most part.

    Perry is what he is going to be. A very productive collegiate player that isn’t quite NBA caliber.

  • @justanotherfan

    If you follow the news from the off-season/Summer camps you would know that everybody (instructors/scouts) is raving on how much Perry has improved. If those reports are to believed, and absent information to the contrary I don’t see why not, then Perry will be the real deal. Cliff Alexander is on record saying that Perry is so fast that he cannot keep up with him. Time will tell.

  • @justanotherfan

    The word has been since spring that Perry has been working on stepping out for the shot. Guys improve their outside shot when they work on it, and I have no indication that Perry won’t improve, even considerably, on his perimeter shot.

    Self has mentioned that Perry knows he needs to carry more of the load this year. We’ll just wait and see, but I believe he will. Part of that relates to his personality, and he’ll have to come out of his shell more if he hopes to carry more of the load.

    None of this is relevant to my point… even if Perry makes steady improvements, he’ll never get the attention of these OADs, even if he puts up better stats than OADs. He’s old news, especially to all the non-KU fans. All the focus goes to super young talent, the new kids on the block.

    I don’t believe at all in your assumption about players not advancing their games in quantum leaps past their sophomore year. Take Jeff Withey as an example. He never reached his potential even in his senior year, but look at how much he improved every year. Many of our guys have steadily improved all 4 years. How about TT? He made big time improvements in his senior year. You really think Embiid only has 12 more months to make major improvements in his game? Really? Or Wiggins?

    Coaches that say a player has reached his limits are coaches that don’t know how to coach up players beyond a certain level. Truth is, these coaches have reached their limits, and talking about players limits is only a reflection of their development abilities, because they have years of knowing to what level they can help a player reach… and their vision stops there.

    I’m not going to rate Perry on his NBA potential. We all know he is a 'tweener and the road for him to fall on the right side for a solid NBA career is a long haul away. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be a crucial piece to a team that can go far this year, and he will deserve attention for making noticeable improvements in his game.

  • @drgnslayr said:

    even if Perry makes steady improvements, he’ll never get the attention of these OADs, even if he puts up better stats than OADs. He’s old news, especially to all the non-KU fans. All the focus goes to super young talent, the new kids on the block.


    However, if KU gets to the final four, I am almost certain that one of the main storylines will be Perry and Jamari. We don’t get there without them being special. And reaching that stage will finally provide them with the attention they deserve.

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