Sheridan Hoops Rookie Rankings: Week Six

1DAMIAN LILLARD, G, PORTLAND: Played just twice, including a 2-of-14 mess vs. Toronto, his second single-digit effort of the season. Most indispensable rookie is averaging 38 minutes, or six more than any other newbie. Nursing an ankle injury and has a TNT showcase vs. Tony Parker.1
2BobcatsMICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, F, CHARLOTTE: Only returnee who didn’t have a bad game, but solid play isn’t stopping the Bobcats’ slide. Took a fall on his back but showed toughness by returning the same game. Keeps filling the boxscore and is at 49 percent – not bad for a guy who can’t shoot.2
3HARRISON BARNES, F, GOLDEN STATE: Minutes are being marginalized, partially because Green is a better defender but also because his offense is vanishing. Had more fouls than field goals this week and shot just 7-of-27. The Warriors are winning, but Barnes is contributing less.3
4WizardsBRADLEY BEAL, G, WASHINGTON: Perhaps he took his demotion from the table personally; averaged 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting 44 percent (23-of-52). Even took the point for brief stretches. His recent strong stretch has the Wizards playing better ball.
5HornetsANTHONY DAVIS, F-C, NEW ORLEANS: Welcome back, big guy! After missing 11 games, had 13 points, eight boards, three blocks and three steals off the bench in return. The Hornets are much more competitive with him. Still leads all rookies in per game rebounds, blocks and – yes – steals.
6TimberwolvesALEXEY SHVED, G, MINNESOTA: Recent 3-point shooting has gone ice cold but still playing big minutes (nearly 29 mpg over last eight). That may change when Ricky Rubio returns Saturday, but playing alongside the flashy point guard should give his shaky shooting (39 percent) a boost.6
7PistonsKYLE SINGLER, F, DETROIT: Another guy with more fouls than buckets as he shot just 9-of-26 this week. Still starting and playing steady minutes but production is off with five straight single-digit games. He may just be in a slump. Or he may be a greater point of emphasis on scouting reports.4
8MagicANDREW NICHOLSON, F, ORLANDO: We said he was one to watch and he proved it with 11.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in three games this week, vaulting past Gustavo Ayon in Jacque Vaughn’s big man rotation. This has been his best stretch of the season and needs to continue for him to stay in the table.
9 BobcatsJEFFERY TAYLOR, G-F, CHARLOTTE: May have maxed out here last week; giving away PT as Gerald Henderson gets healthier. Likely better suited as a bench energy guy. Had as many fouls as field goals, going 7-of-27 in four games. In loss to the Clippers, took his first donut in over a month.5
10DION WAITERS, G, CLEVELAND: Still out with ankle sprain and bone bruise and may not be here next week. Despite his poor shot selection, Cavs have been held below 90 in four of six games he has missed and need his 15 ppg. While sidelined, he has time to take care of Baby Mary.7

DROPOUTS: Tyler Zeller, C, Cleveland (8); Jonas Valanciunas, C, Toronto (9); Jared Sullinger, F, Boston (10). Not a good week for big guys.

FIVE TO WATCH: Andre Drummond, F-C, Detroit; Draymond Green, F, Golden State; Austin Rivers, G, New Orleans; Brian Roberts, G, New Orleans; Jonas Valanciunas, C, Toronto.

PREVIOUS RANKINGS: Rookie | Power | Most Improved | MVP

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


  1. Jeremy says

    hard to say you’re ahead of the curve and have Singler in your top 10 but Drummond only on the watch list. Just sayin’

  2. Zulu says

    Another player to watch is Marcus Teague. I thought he played well against D-Will the other night and has been decent as a defender in 4th quarter minutes, for Thibideau no less. Granted he may be back on the bench when Henrich returns.

  3. john steppling says

    I do not grasp why so many journalists want to keep hyping Harrison Barnes. The reason his minutes shrunk isnt just that Green is a better defender but that Barnes is also , in this equation, a VERY BAD defender. Does not deserve to be in top ten. Tyler Zeller does all the things not in a stat sheet and if you doubt that, watch him in the cavs win over the lakers. MKG is just getting better….a bad team, but one that works hard and gilchrist is an impact defender. Its tough to rank guys when so many get so little playing time. But thats the way it is…so I would also nominate Terrence Ross. Not a huge number of minutes, and on a really bad team right now……but Ross has played very well considering the team is in meltdown. Ezeli probably deserves to be on there over barnes, too, actually. One of the reasons went from bad to good on defense is because of Ezeli.

    • Chris says


      Thanks for reading and appreciate the input/disagreement. I watch as much ball as I can while keeping my marriage alive and track all of the guys you say are worth mentioning. I did elevate three guys this week. I like Zeller, just wanna see a little more from him. The Raps should just turn Ross loose now. But scoring counts; only 25 percent of the league averages double figures, so if you can come in and do it right away, you’re pretty good. CB

      • john steppling says

        thanks chris, love reading your stuff. You know, two things i was right about last year were that austin rivers was going to be a bust, and that Zeller was woefully undervalued. Barnes is a good player, just not a guy I see having a special career of any sort. As a foot note…..ben hansbrough might make this list soon. I was surprised he didnt get drafted…..i know he’s not overly quick, but he’s not as bad as all that and he’s also as nuts intense as his big brother, and most importantly is a phenomenal shooter. Final add….miles plumlee is going to eventually get played and is going to have an impact. NOBODY seems to agree with me on this, but mark my words. Thanks again for the response.

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