Sheridan Hoops Rookie Rankings: Week 13

1DAMIAN LILLARD, G, PORTLAND: Portland’s point man is seventh in the NBA in minutes per game; the next rookie is 75th. The last rook to finish higher in MPG was not Blake Griffin (eighth in 2009-10) or LeBron James (10th in 2003-04) but Damon Stoudamire, who was second in 1995-96.1
2PistonsANDRE DRUMMOND, F-C, DETROIT: Has overtaken Anthony Davis as the top rookie rebounder, pretty impressive given that he plays eight less minutes per game than the top pick. His 3.0 offensive boards (in 20 minutes) rank 15th; everyone above him plays at least 28 minutes.3
3HornetsANTHONY DAVIS, F-C, NEW ORLEANS: If his sprained ankle is bothering him, he’s doing a good job of not showing it, averaging 13.0 points on 66 percent shooting this week. Rebounding slipped a bit, and he earned a brief benching when fellow UK alum Patrick Patterson lit him up Friday.4
4WizardsBRADLEY BEAL, G, WASHINGTON: Was having a fantastic month until a right wrist injury forced him to wear a brace, impacted his shooting (4-of-18 over two games) and ultimately forced him from the lineup. It would be a shame if Beal is out for an extended period because he really had it going.3
5DION WAITERS, G, CLEVELAND: Since Dec. 1, he has scored in double digits in a win just twice – and both games have come against Milwaukee. He will finish January at 42 percent from the field after shooting under 37 percent in November and an awful 34 percent in December.5
6CavaliersTYLER ZELLER, C, CLEVELAND: Rescued what was looking like a bad week with 16 points (second-best game of season) and five assists (season best) vs. Golden State. Among rookie bigs, only Davis scores more per game. But 41 percent from the field is unacceptable for a 7-footer.6
7PistonsKYLE SINGLER, F, DETROIT: A clear winner in the Rudy Gay deal as the trade of Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye means the small forward position is all his. Following a bad shooting December, Singler was back up to 46 percent overall and 44 percent on threes in January.7
8HARRISON BARNES, F, GOLDEN STATE: Bolstered a bad week by going for 14 with five boards in a win at Toronto, but sat out the next night with a knee issue that does not appear to be serious. Remember that Barnes’ 25 minutes per game can be partially attributed to Brandon Rush’s ACL injury.9
9KingsTHOMAS ROBINSON, F, SACRAMENTO: This is what we were expecting from the bruiser when the season started: scoring approaching double figures, occasional double-doubles and a mean streak. Averaging 23 minutes in his last five games and now doing something with them.
10TimberwolvesALEXEY SHVED, G, MINNESOTA: Back after missing five games with an ankle sprain and made up for lost time with 12 points on 13 shots in 21 minutes. Still one of just five rookies averaging double digits, and only Lillard averages more assists. But shooting (32 percent in January) has to improve.

DROPOUTS: Terrence Ross, G, Toronto (8); Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Charlotte (10).

FIVE TO WATCH: Moe Harkless, F, Orlando; John Henson, F-C, Milwaukee; Bernard James, C, Dallas; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Charlotte; Jared Sullinger, F, Boston.

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

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


  1. dragon168 says

    I have him on my fantasy team as a “in case they start him after the break”…He had a very solid game prior the 2nd part of the 2q of that loss. I believe he already had a double double midway through the 6min mark…He’s solid. Projecting him into a starter role, the guy’s insane.

  2. A.J. says

    What is the criteria for these rankings. A guy like Dion Waiters, for example, is always going to be awful for his teams. A dime a dozen right-handed Harold Miner, there is one living underneath every rock. Of course Waiters is going to get his shots and his points. But clearly, and I’ve watched at least a full half of every NBA game the two of them have played, somebody like Harrison Barnes is a better player even now.

    I hate individual rankings, they seem to exist inside a vacuum and without context. Look at their stats, be impressed by a few numbers.

    Speaking of Tyler Zeller and his 41% shooting, it’s always amazed me that giant guys like Ilgauskas and Smits made two All-Star teams each. Especially Ilgauskas. How bad does a conference have to be. In one of his two All-Star seasons, his FG% was 44%.

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