2010 NBA Draft – Centers
We’ve come full circle with our NBA Draft positional rankings — the center crop has some good prospects but it is a shallow pool (we’ve only come up with nine prospects to rank), just like the point guard class we kicked things off with. The makeup of the center prospect class is pretty much what you would expect — some young, talented and raw prospects along with a few big, experienced players thrown in the mix. But the guy at the top of the list will more than likely make you say “Who dat?”
1) Hassan Whiteside | Marshall | Freshman
The mystery man. You’ve probably not even heard of Hassan Whiteside (we only first got wind of him recently ourselves). Here’s what we do know — he’s a long, athletic 7-footer with the ability to knock down outside jumpers or post up, is the top shot-blocker in the nation while also being one of the best rebounders. He’s also very raw and inconsistent. However, his size, athleticism and skill package make him a top prospect — he should be a top-3 pick whenever he enters the draft.
2) Cole Aldrich | Kansas | Junior
While Cole Aldrich doesn’t share the “upside” and potential of a prospect like Whiteside, he also doesn’t share the same risk of being a bust. A great rebounder and shot-blocker, Aldrich should be a dependable, long-term NBA player, but probably not a star.
3) Solomon Alabi | Florida State | Sophomore
Back again with an “upside” player. Solomon Alabi is another big (7-1 with a 7-5 wingspan), athletic, young center prospect. Not surprisingly blocking shots is his specialty, but he is also able to hit the outside jumper. But, like Big Daddy Kane said, he’s R-A-W.
4) Dexter Pittman | Texas | Senior
While Dexter Pittman might not be R-A-W, he definitely is B-I-G. But not as big as before — he was 366 pounds his freshman year but is only 290 now. A terrific offensive rebounder (he averages more offensive boards than defensive), despite the weight loss Pittman is still a load in the paint and is a highly efficient scorer.
5) Artsiom Parakhouski | Radford | Senior
Measuring in at 6-11 and 260 pounds, Art Parakhouski uses his size and strength to post crazy numbers for Radford (23 points, 13 boards per game). The Belarusian isn’t just picking on the weaker competition in the Big South Conference either — he had 23 & 14 versus Duke this season and 21 & 13 against Kansas.
Next in line: Jerome Jordan, Tulsa; Andrew Ogilvy, Vanderbilt; Miroslav Raduljica, Serbia; Paulao Prestes, Spain.
Read more of Jeff Fox at The Hoops Manifesto.