Sheridan Hoops Rookie Rankings: Week 11

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RANK ROOKIE RUNDOWN RECENT
1 DAMIAN LILLARD, G, PORTLAND: A strong individual week highlighted by 37 points at Golden State – most by a Blazers rookie since Calvin Natt’s 39 in 1980 – diminished by four losses by a combined 19 points. This is Lillard’s next step – don’t defer, take the reins and end the slump. 1
2 Wizards BRADLEY BEAL, G, WASHINGTON: Forget the rookie wall. How about John Wall? Beal shot 22-of-40 (8-of-11 threes) while averaging 19.7 points in first three games of point guard’s return. Shhoting 61 percent from the arc this month. The Wizards would be absolutely nuts to trade him for Rudy Gay. 2
3 Pistons ANDRE DRUMMOND, F-C, DETROIT: Here’s a gem from Elias: When Drummond had 11 rebounds and four blocks in Friday’s win vs. Atlanta, he became the first since Roy Tarpley in 1986-87 with at least two 11-4 games as a rookie. Averages 13.3 boards and 3.0 blocks per 36 minutes and needs to play more. 3
4 Hornets ANTHONY DAVIS, F-C, NEW ORLEANS: The Hornets are winning, which certainly helps his case over the long haul. But his minutes and scoring are down during the team’s recent hot streak. And we’d like an explanation for those zero rebounds in 23 minutes vs. Minnesota with Kevin Love sidelined, please. 4
5 DION WAITERS, G, CLEVELAND: Voiced his displeasure in coming off the bench but quickly got the hang of it, averaging 22 points on 51 percent shooting over three games before 1-of-9 clanger at Portland. His 33 points Monday at Sacramento are the most by any rookie not named Damian Lillard. 10
6 HARRISON BARNES, F, GOLDEN STATE: Appears to be getting a second wind; averaging 12.3 points on 49 percent shooting in January and had season highs of five 3-pointers and 21 points in loss at Denver on Sunday. Still goes offense-defense with fellow rook Draymond Green late in games. 9
7 Timberwolves ALEXEY SHVED, G, MINNESOTA: The unrelenting schedule and continued ballhandling duties are taking their toll as the Russian couldn’t land a Sputnik in the ocean, shooting 5-of-26 – including 2-of-10 threes – in three games. Ricky Rubio getting up to starter speed might help. 5
8 Cavaliers TYLER ZELLER, C, CLEVELAND: Reversed what looked like a bad week with 24 points, 15 boards and six blocks across games at Sacramento and Portland. Between his solid 4.3 free throws per game this month and his 121 fouls this season – just behind Jared Sullinger – no rookie stops the game more. 6
9 Kings THOMAS ROBINSON, F, SACRAMENTO: Back in the rankings for the first time since Week 1, thanks to unquestionably his best three-game stretch of the season (8.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg). Car accident gives him a pass for Wednesday’s seven-minute donut, but it’s time to stop teasing everyone and play. -
10 Bobcats MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, F, CHARLOTTE: Fading fast, just like his team. After shooting 56 percent from the field in December, he is down to 39 percent in January. Had a pair of four-point stinkers this week and aside from hitting the boards hard isn’t filling the boxscore the way he did earlier this season. 7

DROPOUTS: Jared Sullinger, F, Boston (8).

FIVE TO WATCH: Chris Copeland, F, New York; John Henson, F-C, Milwaukee; Pablo Prigioni, G, New York; Kyle Singler, F, Detroit; Jeffery Taylor, G-F, Charlotte.

PREVIOUS RANKINGS: Rookie | Power | Most Improved | MVP | Sixth Man

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

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