Sheridan Hoops Rookie Rankings: Week Three

1DAMIAN LILLARD, G, PORTLAND: Before his faux pas vs. Chicago, he scored 16 of his 27 points in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter and OT in a win over Houston. His 39 turnovers almost double any other rookie – not surprising given his duties but an area that can get better.1
2ANTHONY DAVIS, F-C, NEW ORLEANS: Looked to be closing the gap on Lillard after going for 28 and 11 boards in a loss at Milwaukee. Then he developed a stress reaction that has cost him two games and could be something more. You have to wonder if his summer with Team USA was a factor.2
3HARRISON BARNES, F, GOLDEN STATE: He averaged 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in 33 minutes as the Warriors went 3-1 and are starting to lool like they are for real. He finds ways to make his mark in an offense that isn’t geared toward him. Richard Jefferson’s calf injury means big minutes will continue.3
4BobcatsMICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, F, CHARLOTTE: Who said he couldn’t shoot? Up to a solid 47 percent after a slow start. Also gets to the line (4.9 per game) more and rebounds better (6.8) than any rookie except his former UK teammate. He is a huge reason why the Bobcats aren’t a doormat anymore.5
5PistonsKYLE SINGLER, F, DETROIT: Unlike Lillard, he had a more conventional rookie mistake as he was burned by fellow Dukie J.J. Redick’s late 3-pointer when he got caught behind a screen. After three straight games in double figures, had a two-point stinker Wednesday. Still a very pleasant surprise.6
6DION WAITERS, G, CLEVELAND: He has to develop a conscience; shot 13-of-51 this week with plenty of heaves, although his six assists in Wednesday’s win were encouraging. It will be interesting to see how much he dominates the ball in the absence of injured Kyrie Irving.4
7TimberwolvesALEXEY SHVED, G, MINNESOTA: He continued his strong play with a Lillard-like 22 points and seven assists in a loss to Golden State and should benefit from (a) Brandon Roy’s expected one-month absence and (b) Kevin Love’s surprise early return. On the other hand, J.J. Barea also is back.8
8RaptorsJONAS VALANCIUNAS, F-C, TORONTO: He is starting come on a bit with consecutive double-doubles, and there is little reason why that cannot be a nightly occurrence. His team-leading 50 percent shooting and 6.0 rebounds are nice but may reflect more on Andrea Bargnani’s slow start.10
9BRADLEY BEAL, G, WASHINGTON: He responded nicely to a benching by scoring 18 points vs. Indiana but followed with six fouls and five turnovers at Atlanta. He has made more than half his shots just once this season and his shooting overall (.337) is atrocious. Might not be in the table next week.7
10BucksJOHN HENSON, F, MILWAUKEE: Our only newcomer got here by accident. Larry Sanders’ temper tantrum in Miami opened the door for Henson to post a monstrous 17 points and 18 boards. Began the season with a knee injury and will have to stay in the rotation to remain in the table.

DROPOUTS: Jae Crowder, F, Dallas (9).

FIVE TO WATCH: Andrew Nicholson, F, Orlando; Austin Rivers, G, New Orleans; Brian Roberts, G, New Orleans; Jeffery Taylor, G, Charlotte; Tyler Zeller, C, Cleveland.

Chris Bernucca is the managing editor of His columns appear Monday during the season. You can follow him on Twitter.


  1. john steppling says

    Happy thanksgiving belated to you chris. OK…..Im down with all this EXCEPT harrison barnes. Ive been having this debate. He can shoot…if has space anyway…but he is a bad defender. Not mediocre, but bad. In that respect he fits in well with the warriors. Watch his games….and this was a rap on him in college….he has no lateral quickness at all. Guys often blow past him. He gets a lot more rebounds than I expected, but his defense is a problem.

    Henson has problem areas too. For example he simply lacks the strength to hold guys off…..he gets moved way too easily. Sanders will be back and Henson will be back on the bench. Shved has been outstanding. And plays good D. Singler has a nice chandler parsons sort of game. I like him. Can we stop talking about austin rivers as anything but a bust.Please. His best case scenario is the not quite marcus thornton. And finally, two guys to be considered….Nicholson has looked GREAT. Way beyond what I expected. Jeff Taylor was killer the other night, I loved him as a pick last year. WHy did he go in the 2nd? Insane. And Zeller. Its been bumpy but that teams is pretty bad. He’s played way better than his numbers. MKG is simply supurb. Man he is going to be good. Yikes. And finally Big Val ….the Raptors have a lot of issues, but he and Ross both are going to be very good pros. Valanciunus in particular perhaps. Guys with that size, core strength, and hops are very rare. I predict by the end of the year he is in the top three.

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