*FYI these are ESPN's rankings, not mine. My personal rankings, along with Derek, Mike, and Tanner's can be found here.
#1 - John Wall
#2 - Evan Turner
#3 - Derrick Favors
#4 - DeMarcus Cousins
#5 - Wesley Johnson
#6 - Al-Farouq Aminu
#7 - Ed Davis
#8 - Cole Aldrich
#9 - Greg Monroe
#10 - Daniel Orton
#11 - Ekpe Udoh
#12 - Hassan Whiteside
#13 - Donatas Motiejunas
#14 - Patrick Patterson
My boy Hassan Whiteside, after the jump!
Still raw offensively, but has upside.
Though he remains largely an unpolished prospect, particularly in terms of his footwork, post-moves and decision making ability, he shows flashes of potential in many different areas, namely his ability to put the ball on the floor, knock down mid-range jumpers and utilize his tremendous length to score inside.
Some might even say Ridiculous Upside.
... Whiteside gets to the free throw line at an excellent rate, converting 60% of his attempts once there, and does an outstanding job of crashing the offensive glass and finishing around the rim. He has very good touch around the basket, as well as from the perimeter (even knocking down a couple of 3-pointers this season), clearly showing better scoring instincts than your typically raw mid-major big man. The terrific extension he gets around the rim, excellent shooting mechanics and high-release point on his turnaround jumper all leave plenty of room for optimism regarding his offensive potential once he's able to fill out his lanky frame a bit.
His man-to-man defense is not very good at this point.
His main issue revolves around his extremely underdeveloped frame, which hinders him on the offensive end, but more importantly makes him a constant target for post-up plays and renders him an exceptionally poor man to man defender against average college big men. Whiteside gives up deep position in the post with the greatest of ease--seemingly not even fighting back at times-- getting out of his stance quickly, bringing his hands down, and downright giving up on plays, thinking he'll simply be able to recover and come up with a block, which at this level can indeed be the case on occasion.
But his rebounding and ability to block shots? Sheesh.
Whiteside possesses freakish length-his wingspan is reportedly around 7-6-and he has absolutely terrific timing rotating, contesting and rejecting shots. He's one of the most productive rebounders in college basketball for these same reasons.
Turnover prone and can't even spell pass.
Whiteside has dished out only 9 assists, a shockingly low number that ranks him amongst the worst in college basketball in that area. Watching him play, it's clear that once he touches the ball, he sees nothing besides the rim, often forcing up extremely poor shots and having major issues dealing with double teams, which makes him very turnover prone.
Whiteside's basketball IQ is not good.
Whiteside's fundamentals, basketball IQ and overall awareness are well below average, even considering his freshman status. He at times looks out of place in Marshall's half-court offense, looking as if he's not quite sure where he should be at any particular moment, which at this late stage in the season makes you wonder about his ability to process an NBA team's far more complex playbook.
Ah, the dreaded "red flags".
"Immature" is the word you hear most often associated with Whiteside both on and off the court, as there will certainly be a large degree of hand-holding and coddling that whichever team drafts him needs to do in order to help him reach his full potential. There are major questions about his work ethic and intensity level ...
Whiteside completes me. He had me at "pterodactyl-like wingspan" (rumored at 7'6'').
Whiteside is a terrific athlete with a pterodactyl-like wingspan who has been causing havoc in the lane with his shot-blocking and rebounding abilities. He's also showing some raw talent on the offensive end lately.
Mixed bag against better competition.
Whiteside didn't blow anyone away in the West Virginia game. He had 18 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks, and although the execs and scouts who saw him play liked what they saw, they weren't wowed, either. That changed a bit in the Memphis game. Whiteside was terrific, scoring 22 points, grabbing 8 boards and blocking 7 shots.
A GM's scouting report:
"Think a young, skinny Camby with a jumper. He doesn't board as well as Camby, but he has his shot-blocking ability, build and a tendency to spend time away from the paint. He needs another 20 pounds of strength and has to play harder. He can run but rarely does."
What can I say, I'm a big Whiteside fan. I'm a sucker for athletic shot blockers. It's one of the reasons I bought a Sam Dalembert jersey when he was drafted. Based on potential alone, Hassan is top 3 player in this draft, but because of the red flags, he'll probably go somewhere in the 10-15 range. Will he ever work hard enough to reach his potential? Will he always have an attitude problem? Will his basketball IQ always be low? These are questions teams are going to have to answer before they even think of drafting Whiteside.
His skill set is a great fit with the Sixers, and he's essentially the perfect Sam replacement. Is drafting him six too high? Most likely. Would I be upset if the Sixers drafted him anyway? Absolutely not. Once you get past WTF/Cousins it's pretty much a crapshoot, so I wouldn't be mad if the Sixers took the guy with the highest potential. Once teams start working players out, conducting interviews and background checks, Whiteside's stock could potentially sky-rocket. I could also potentially change my mind. You can also potentially disagree with my potential opinion. Tune in next month to see if potential is reached!
Up next: Donatas Motiejunas