The player rankings are coming today, and there's no way to do them without providing an explanation.
So here is your explanation.
Please read it.
I beg you.
It could save us both a lot of time.
Just like last year I separated the players into three categories -- specifically point guards and combo guards, shooting guards and wings, and big forwards and centers. This was done for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was to help avoid endless debates about whether Isaiah Thomas is a point guard or shooting guard, Xavier Henry is a shooting guard or small forward, Kyle Singler is a small forward or power forward, and so on and so forth. Trust me, had I broken this into the five conventional positions we would've argued about all that stuff and more. So this way is better, I think, and what I tried to do is group the players based on the following descriptions:
1. Point guards and combo guards
This category includes:
- Point guards
- Combo guards
This category includes:
- Shooting guards
- Small forwards
- Power forwards who are closer to being small forwards than centers
This category includes
- Power forwards who are closer to being centers than small forwards
Now let me make three final points before I go:
Point No. 1: Please don't look at the list of "Point guards and combo guards" and send some email about how I am stupid to have forgotten Willie Warren. I didn't forget him. I just concluded that he's a better fit for the "Shooting guards and wings" category because he's just not going to play much point guard with Tommy Mason-Griffin at Oklahoma, and these are the decisions I had to make. Some of it is subjective, I admit, and there's a good chance I will, in hindsight, wish I would've put a guy in a different category; we'll deal with that when it happens. But what I'm trying to say is that if you're looking for a player and don't see him, ask yourself whether I could've put him in another category. If so, I probably did. If not, he's probably not as good as you think.
Point No. 2: These rankings are not based on NBA potential; I can't stress that enough. An NBA general manager would clearly take Solomon Alabi over Luke Harangody, but no college coach would, and that's how I ranked the players. Put another way, these rankings are designed to reflect what I think of these prospects as college basketball players, which is why someone's status as a "future lottery pick" doesn't carry much weight if he isn't also a big-time college performer. Likewise, if someone is great in college I don't care if he might be too short for the NBA. I'm not drafting for the NBA here. I'm ranking college basketball players.
Point No. 3: I don't mind feedback or criticism, but I do have one request: Try not to send a simple "Player X is too low, you idiot!" note. Rather, tell me where you'd put him and which player you'd move down to put him there. In other words, an email that says "Deonta Vaughan is too low" accomplishes nothing. I want one that says "Deonta Vaughan is too low; he should be higher than Shelvin Mack." Or whatever. Just explain yourself, that's all. And remember, you can't have 11 players in the Top 10. You have to remove somebody before you can insert somebody else, so be sure to keep that in mind.
OK, I think that's it.
Any questions, just ask.
(Just don't ask dumb questions.)