Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks in Top 10 of ESPN's Sophomore Rankings

MIAMI - NOVEMBER 26: Guard Jodie Meeks #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers talks to the referee against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 26 2010 in Miami Florida. The Heat defeated the 76ers 99-90. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Links

NBA Sophomore Rankings - ESPN

Jodie Meeks Player Card - Basketball Reference

Jodie Meeks Player Card - Hoop Data

Sortable Advanced Stats for Sophomore's - Basketball Reference

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8. Jrue Holiday, 76ers
The Sixers are 5-2 since losing to the Heat on Nov. 26, and Holiday has been a core part of their improvement. Although his stats are only OK, they look better when taking into account that he's one of the league's youngest players. His ability to manage a game and defend the other team's point guard is impressive. Holiday is not shooting as well as he did last season, but I expect him to make progress in this area as the season unfolds.

wrote about Jrue's improvement a few days ago. The big key here is, Jrue is at least a year younger than any other sophomore. 

10. Jodie Meeks, 76ers
Stroking it from deep and playing with fire, Meeks is doing what fellow classmate Marcus Thornton did last season as a rookie. He's been a huge part of Philly's recent success, making shots and good decisions with the ball. Half his shot attempts are 3s, helping the Sixers' offense a great deal by forcing teams to honor him and play four-on-four inside or help off him and live with the results.

The majority of NBA fans may be surprised by the way Jodie Meeks has played since being inserted into the starting lineup, but Sixers fans knew he was capable of this based on the way he finished last season. His defense has improved, but maybe it's just more visible under Collins instead of Jordan. His three point shooting has also improved from 38% to 45%. But he's had a slight drop-off in other areas. His rebounding and assist rates are down, and his turnover percentage is up. Luckily rebounding and passing are just an added bonus when it comes to Meeks. If he continues to make spot-up threes, stretch the floor and play good enough defense to stay on the floor, everyone will be happy.

In my recent Lou Williams post I wrote about the differences between Lou and Jodie, and how Lou needs the ball to be effective, while Jodie plays off guys like Jrue, Turner and Iguodala. No stat makes that statement clearer than the %AST stat. 49% of Lou Williams baskets this season have been assisted by a teammate, compared to 88% of Jodie's baskets.

It's awesome to have two sophomores in the top 10 of Thorpe's rankings. If Turner can make his way into the top 10 of the rookie rankings our future may look a little brighter.

H/T: hart ford

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