First of all, congrats to the Minnesota State Mavericks women's basketball team for winning their first D-II national championship. For those of you who watched the game (it was on at the same time as the Wolves on ESPN2), you were treated to one of the finest women's games you will ever see in your life. The final score was 103-94 with both teams combining for an eFG of .618% (including 16-34 from beyond the arc). The Mavs closed out the game on an 11-4 run to win the title. Yes, you could have been watching LeBron James but you also could have been watching up-tempo, competitive, hard-fought, and wonderful basketball in the D-II title game. You can read more about the game here.
The Mavs' victory means that Southern Minnesota is now home to three D-II national championships in the past 5 years (the Winona State men won in 2006 and 2008). Can we please get one of these programs (WSU or MSU) on the track to D-I status? North Dakota has 2 D-I teams and Iowa seems to have about a dozen; why can't Minnesota have more than 1?
As you can probably tell by now, I didn't catch the Wolves game last night. Earlier this season we Wolves fans were treated to the LeBron show at the Target Center and there was no reason to see a replay against a depleted team that has quit on the season. Instead of turning a game I didn't see into a stat sheet review or yet another long post on the state of the front office, let's finish up the Hoopus Draft board. You can read parts i (guards), ii (wings), and iii (bigs) by clicking on the links. Descriptions of the formula and its purpose are also contained in the previous posts. Remember, this is a formula that weighs relative worth in a specific year among 3 distinct player groupings. It is not a be-all/end-all formula (nor does it intend to be) and it should act only as a floor upon which a more complete player evaluation can be made. That being said, without access to scouting, player interviews, tons of film, and advanced data points collected by an outside agency, it is the best we can do and it represents our bottom to top BPA list for the Wolves. Let's get started:
- Blake Griffin: 45/18.196 (63.196-big). Griffin is the clear number one pick in a one man draft. He is light years ahead of any other player and should be taken, without question, by the Wolves with the number one pick.
Cole Aldrich: 35/14.863 (49.863-big). Aldrich is a pure center with a massive wingspan and plenty of room on his frame to add weight. Unlike Thabeet, he appears to be comfortable playing on both ends of the court and could develop into exactly the type of pure center the Wolves have never had. Aldrich is also a hometown kid who would lock down the Wolves' 4/5 rotation for years to come.
Demar Derozan: 31.3/13.879 (45.179-wing). In a weak one man draft the top picks in the draft will be based more on potential than results. While Derozan produced more than at first suspected, his potential is what places him at #3 on the board. For a 19 year old prospect with elite NBA size and athleticism, he produced rather well, especially considering his poor outside shooting and relatively weak handle. He got the job done at USC without even tapping into his potential. He also looks to be the type of player who can work his way into a team setting. He may not start right away but his upside is too hard to ignore.
Evan Turner: 36.5/10.359 (47.009-wing). Turner does it all. Rebounding, passing, defense, getting to the rim, hitting mid-range shots...the guy is a fantastic player and is improving with each season. While he has said he intends to return to OSU, I'm keeping him on the list until draft declaration day.
- Tyreke Evans: 31.4/8.414 (39.814-guard). There is no other player in the draft with as much potential to change the complexion of the Wolves as Evans. A 6'6" guard with a 6'11.5" wingspan who can play on the ball isn't something that grows on trees. He can get into the lane at will and can finish at the rim. He also can't shoot from outside and turns it over a lot. The big question with Evans is this: His primary value to the Wolves would be to allow Randy Foye to stay off the ball. Can he play point in the NBA? If not, Derozan is the much more attractive option at the 2 or 2/3.
Stephen Curry: 42.6/13.203 (55.803-guard). I don't need to recap my man crush on Curry's game here. Long time readers of this site know that I view him as one of the best players in college ball and I think he'll be an excellent pro.
- Al Farouq Aminu: 35.474/8.758 (44.233-wing). As you can see by this point in the list, potential is the name of the game in this year's draft. Unlike last year where there were several players who produced upon their potential, this year is more of a crap shoot. Aminu is a crap shoot. He has the length and athleticism to be something special as an NBA 3. He also can't shoot and hasn't done a whole lot in his freshman year. That being said, he did show some signs and he has the potential to be exactly the type of player the Wolves need at the 3. He, along with Evans, are the riskiest picks so far.
- James Harden: 38.4/10.393 (48.793-guard). While Harden had a rough post season, his regular season numbers are simply too hard to ignore. He is a smart player who brings a lot to the table and would be hard to pass up at this point.
Hasheem Thabeet: 42.7/14.703 (57.4-big). OK, here he is. My gut tells me he will be completely ineffective at the next level and will be exposed beyond belief, but here he is, all 7'3" of him.
DeJuan Blair: 37.825/15.578 (53.403-big). Yes, I know the Wolves are undersized and stocked at this position already, but BPA is BPA is BPA.
Ty Lawson: 35.275/10.616 (45.668-guard). Have you seen the difference he makes with UNC's offense? The injuries are a bit of a concern, but Lawson has the potential to operate as something of a Super Bassy: an undersized guard with elite quickness and playmaking ability...except with a jump shot and better finishing in the lane.
- Nick Calathes: 33.3/10.575 (43.875-guard). My Calathes man crush is second only to Curry. I have no idea why this guy isn't further up the list on most draft boards. Size, playmaking ability, rebounding potential...what else do the Wolves want besides Bassy and Foye? Calathes is entering the draft but not hiring an agent at the moment.
- Terrence Williams: 26.775/11.06 (37.835-wing). Why sign Trevor Ariza when you can draft him?
Eric Maynor: 32.875/9.558 (42.433-guard). A backup point with the ability to score. Maynor also has 4 college seasons under his belt and could contribute right away a'la Mario Chalmers.
Jeff Teague: 35.525/7.813 (43.358-guard). Teague is the Blair of the back court. Undersized and already existing on the Wolves' roster. That being said...BPA.
Tier Three (no descriptions required):
- Jerome Jordan: 38.55/10.652 (49.202-big)
- Greg Monroe: 37.475/9.822 (47.297-big)
- Jordan Hill: 33.999/12.451 (46.45-big)
- Chase Budinger: 29.575/10.953 (40.528-wing)
- Damion James: 31.05/9.3 (40.35-wing)
- Gerald Henderson: 30.5/7.808 (38.308-guard)
- Kyle Singler: 31.525/9.666 (41.191-wing)
- Sam Young: 29.8/8.196 (37.996-wing)
- Lee Cummard: 30.6/11.359 (41.959-guard)
- Willie Warren: 30.55/5.625 (36.175-guard)
- Tyler Hansbrough: 39.375/13.766 (53.141-big)
- James Johnson: 29.375/10.77 (40.145-big)
- Marcus Thornton: 31.875/9.685 (41.156-guard)
- Toney Douglas: 31.25/8.842 (40.092-guard)
- Wayne Ellington: 27.3/8.828 (36.128-guard)
OK, that's 30 players for 30 first round spots. The Wolves will end up with at least 3 picks so that was the motivation for making 3 tiers. This draft is pretty thin but there are some decent players to be had later on in the draft, espcially in tier two. This is where the Wovles could pick up their backup (or eventual starting) point guard. We'll break things down a bit more as we get closer to the draft and we find out who declares and who does not, but this is the end-of-the-college season list. What say you?