by Ryne Nelson

The Rookies will be going to school. As if the Rookie Challenge wasn’t already lopsided enough (sophomores are 8-2 all time), every soph in this year’s game is averaging over 30 mpg and, of the 361 combined games they’ve played in ’09-10, they’ve started a total of 346 games. Only Danilo Gallinari isn’t getting top-3 minutes (he’s fourth).

By contrast, the Rookie Team is without a center, with 6-10 SF Jonas Jerebko being its tallest player. Only three rookies average over 30 mpg (Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings and Stephen Curry).

While the rookies should experience annihilation, it’ll be an important game for Kings fans, who have not seen a rookie play in the Rookie Challenge since 1998 (Michael Stewart). The last time a Kings player participated in any All-Star Weekend event was in 2004 when Brad Miller and Peja Stojakovic were members of the Western Conference All-Star team. It’s been a while…

The head coaches will be the lead assistants from the All-Star Game coaching staffs, which will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played January 31. The Rookie Challenge will be televised on Friday, February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.

At halftime, of course, Eric Gordon and DeMar DeRozan (who, coincidentally, didn’t make the Rookie Team) will compete in the Slam Dunk-In.

Rosters are below. Players are listed alphabetically.

ROOKIE TEAM ROSTER
PLAYER TEAM POS.
DeJuan Blair Spurs F-C
Omri Casspi Kings F
Stephen Curry Warriors G
Tyreke Evans Kings G
Jonny Flynn Wolves G
Taj Gibson Bulls F
James Harden Thunder G
Brandon Jennings Bucks G
Jonas Jerebko Pistons F
SOPHOMORE TEAM ROSTER
Michael Beasley Heat F
Marc Gasol Grizzlies C
Danilo Gallinari Knicks G-F
Eric Gordon Clippers G
Brook Lopez Nets C
Kevin Love Wolves F-C
OJ Mayo Grizzlies G
Derrick Rose Bulls G
Russell Westbrook Thunder G