Basketball Prospectus has spent the past two weeks ranking the top 100 players in college basketball. Kentucky had five players make the countdown, which was second best behind North Carolina’s six. But here at KSR we are firm believers in quality over quantity, so Kentucky’s four players in the top 50 compared to UNC’s three in the top 50 sounds much better.
Marquis Teague was the first Wildcat to appear on the countdown at #62, followed by Doron Lamb at #43. The Prospectus low-balled Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis at #29 and #21, respectively. The top 10 was released this morning and everyone’s favorite sophomore Terrence Jones is the fourth best player in all of basketball. That sounds about right…
4. Terrence Jones, Kentucky (So., PF)
Jones’s decision to return for his sophomore year surprised me more than any other player’s. The lefty made first team All-SEC, was high on every draft board, and spent his freshman year under John Calipari. It seemed like a given he’d be playing NBA ball this November (or at least waiting for the lockout to end). But fresh off co-leading a young team to the Final Four, he’s still at UK. Jones is a very good rebounder who can get to the line and rarely turns the ball over. His shooting percentages last year were just 47/33/65; if he lives up to this billing it’ll be because those numbers improve. He projects to have significantly scarier frontcourt mates in 2012, where the departed Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins will be replaced with top-3-ranked freshmen Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis. Defenses won’t be able to key in on Jones like they could last year. With a little more help and slightly smarter shot selection, he should be SEC Player of the Year.
Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor, North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, and Josh Harrellson’s Jared Sullinger make up the top three.
Anthony Davis at #21 is bull. He’ll prove that when he goes up against John Henson and Tyler Zeller (#11 and #15) on December 3.