Sheridan Hoops Rookie Rankings: Week Seven

1DAMIAN LILLARD, G, PORTLAND: He got a nice break with just two games in 10 days and both were awesome, dropping 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a win over the Spurs on TNT and drilling the game-winning three vs. Anthony Davis and the Hornets. No one is close right now.1
2HornetsANTHONY DAVIS, F-C, NEW ORLEANS: He has six straight double-digit games since his return – including a 15-16 game at Golden State – and is starting again. Averaged 38-plus minutes in his last three games and that’s how much he should play until he drops, because Hornets’ season is over.5
3BobcatsMICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, F, CHARLOTTE: Slumping as badly as his team with 18 points and 14 boards over a three-game stretch before matching season highs with 25 and 12 (with 4 assists and 3 steals) in a loss to Phoenix. Not the difference-maker that Lillard is – part of the reason why Charlotte hasn’t won in a month.2
4WizardsBRADLEY BEAL, G, WASHINGTON: Another player who fills the boxscore but doesn’t move the meter. Beal scored 19 at Miami and 17 vs. Atlanta, both losses. He took a fall on his head vs. the Hawks and sat out a game. He still has an outside shot if John Wall returns and makes things easier for him.4
5PistonsKYLE SINGLER, F, DETROIT: Never really has an explosion game and his shooting has dropped off but always finds ways to contribute, such as his tying follow shot in a double-OT loss at Brooklyn. Another guy on a nowhere team who should be given more minutes as Detroit’s season drags on.7
6HARRISON BARNES, F, GOLDEN STATE: Team’s 6-1 road trip obscured his disappearing act; was 10-of-35 over five games before scoring 19 in trip finale in Atlanta. His slump has resumed and he is giving away minutes to fellow rookie Draymond Green, a much better defender.3
7TimberwolvesALEXEY SHVED, G, MINNESOTA: Maybe the native of Russia doesn’t like warm weather. He shot 2-of-15 (1-of-10 threes) with seven turnovers and five points in two games in Florida this week. Still starting despite the return of Ricky Rubio, who is being worked in slowly. That situation is fluid, however.6
8 HornetsAUSTIN RIVERS, G, NEW ORLEANS: Back for the first time since preseason – and looking to duck out again after a stinker at LA. He averaged 15.7 points on 18-of-33 shooting in three prior games. “I’ve really finally started to get consistent and started to just actually — just breathe and go play,” he said.
9RaptorsTERRENCE ROSS, G, TORONTO: He had his best week of the season, averaging 9.8 points on 47 percent shooting (15-of-32) but remains buried behind DeMar DeRozan. He will have a hard time getting more minutes because Casey won’t go small with two non-defenders at the wings.
10DION WAITERS, G, CLEVELAND: Shot just 10-of-28 (0-of-6 threes) in two losses after missing eight games with an ankle sprain. He has shot so inconsistently this season that you wonder if this was rust or if it is just who he is for now. Hasn’t made half his shots since Nov. 11.10

DROPOUTS: Andrew Nicholson, F, Orlando (8); Jeffery Taylor, G-F, Charlotte (9).

FIVE TO WATCH: Nando de Colo, G, San Antonio; Andre Drummond, F-C, Detroit; Draymond Green, F, Golden State; Pablo Prigioni, G, New York; Tyler Zeller, C Cleveland.

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. john steppling says

    RIVERS min fg% 3pt%
    12-13 NOH 24 15 28.2 0.361 0.375 0.618 0.2 2.0 2.2 2.8 0.6 0.2 1.5 2.2 7.9

    ending with pts per game. So in 28 min a game he is averaging 2.8 assists. And 1.5 turnovers. Taylor in about the same min is averaging 39%, 1 ass and.50 turnovers. Or tyler zeller…also about the same minutes per game…a tad fewer….averaging 46%… threes, and five boards… and change turnovers. Now zeller is a center, ok. But 47% compared to 36% is pretty significant when rivers does nothing else. Zeller does a lot else. Play defense for openers. Even jonas valuncianus……23 min. a game…roughly the same….averaging 8 pts….shooting FIFTY TWO percent and five and a half boards. Where is big Val on this list?? I mean you have to defend this sort of absurdity. Im a big fan of sheridan hoops and this column. But man, you are so wrong here. (sorry this was posted on the other article comment thread): Rivers at 36% is pathetic when you add poor defense….and as i said, I would have zeller and big Val and drummond on here ahead of barnes and rivers-

  2. john steppling says

    I like these rankings EXCEPT for chyin’ out loud, what is it with you sports writers and austin rivers. HE IS A BUST. He is awful. The guy had ONE good game,…and even a blind squirrel gathers some nuts. Rivers is a shockingly bad defender… how can he be there ahead of ross, drummond, tyler zeller, or draymond green…jeff taylor or Nicholson??? HOW????? Come on, this loses all credibility when he appears in here. I dont get it. Honestly. I cant even write about the rest…………..this is just an absurdity. ALL SEASON he has played not just bad, but TERRIBLE ball. Is it his father’s name? I mean compare zeller……a kid who gets fewer minutes, slugs away on a bad team, but is clearly learning and sets nice screens, works at the little things. And for that matter, Drummond at least makes his presence felt. Or even ben Hansbrough……… a tough situation, plays with energy and toughness. Give him some props. Barnes has been terrible and shouldnt be here either…but i said that last week. Ross should go higher. <but rivers…………..RIVERS??? Come on….

  3. says

    These rankings are curious, to say the least. I’ll just speak to what I’m most familiar with — the Detroit Pistons. First, the fact that Andre Drummond doesn’t crack the top 10 is crazy. He is outproducing just about every rookie in the league on a per-minute basis. The Pistons, rightly or wrongly, are limiting his minutes in the early going.

    But even accounting for his limited minutes he’s still had a much bigger impact on the floor than the likes of Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Austin Rivers, Terrence Ross and Dion Waiters.

    And speaking of minutes, I don’t understand the comment that Kyle Singler should be getting more minutes. Since being inserted into the starting lineup in game No. 9 he is averaging more than 31 minutes per game, which would be good for third among rookies this season.

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