Friday, December 28, 2007

Hollinger Talks Draft

Some of you may remember how amazing I thought Hollinger's draft ratings were last June. So I was pumped when he released his current ratings for sophomores, juniors and seniors today. Of course the list does not include the fab freshman or the internationals, but we can still gauge a lot from what he presented. The top ten in the ratings, with their score:

Chase Budinger (688)
Ty Lawson (627)
Roy Hibbert (615)
Ryan Anderson (608)
Darrell Arthur (588)
Lawrence Hill (578)
Chris Lofton (567)
Patrick Beverley (547)
Darren Collison (545)
K.C. Rivers (541)

Whew. First of all, I've never heard of Anderson, Hill, Beverly or Rivers (although I assume he's not Glenn's son). But they all got excellent scores, so they definitely have merit in my book, and all should be drafted, although that is unlikely to happen. Let me talk about the guys I do know. Budinger, Lawson and Hibbert (as well as Anderson) all have scores above 600, which is damn good. Since 2002 the biggest busts with scores over 600 have been Mike Sweetney (good but ate himself out of the league), Delonte (still good, but hurt frequently), Tar Heelers May and McCants (injuries, jury still out), and Ty Thomas (definitely too early to call a bust). The other players with scores over 600 since 2002 are all very solid: Booozer, Gooden, Wilcox, Carmelo, Bosh, Wade, Deng, Devin Harris, Chris Paul and Marvin Williams.

So Budinger is no Adam Morrison just cause he's white. With a score like 688 he's almost guaranteed to be at least a valuable starter for the next ten years if healthy. That's what makes Hollinger's ratings so awesome - I felt not nearly so confident in Budinger's ability before reading this, and now my worries are put to rest. Lawson is not actually six feet tall, and that makes his very high rating dubious, as Hollinger implies. I like Lawson but prefer Collison, who seems to just get it, and will probably lead UCLA to the Final Four come spring. Mr. Roy Hibbert is the most intriguing "over 600" member. People are all over the place on Hibbert, and I have been one of them - I watch the first half of some of his games convinced he's a top 3 pick, and by the final buzzer I'm not even certain he should be in the top 20. But as long as his score stays above 600 I would have a hard time not picking him in the top 5. Hibbert is huge, a totally legit center, and that is the most attractive commodity in the league. If he falls out of the lottery something is wrong.

Darrell Arthur and Chris Lofton will both probably be good; I was happy to see the Height's own Tyrese Rice with a healthy score of 516, I always knew that kid could ball. I was surprised Brandon Rush scored so poorly, Hansbrough's score did not surprise me, etc...there is so much we can work with from these ratings; I just dipped my toe in the pond, I'm sure later I will be poring over this list. Hopefully Hollinger releases freshman statistics sooner than later, his ratings are more valuable to me than any scout's take.