Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 at 5:42 pm  |  19 responses

BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Players Announced


The NBA announced the participants in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Wednesday. Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard lead a stacked sophomore class, and Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo headline the rooks. Two teams will be selected on February 6, and the game will take place on Friday, February 14. Per the NBA:

The Philadelphia 76ers’ Michael Carter-Williams, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard headline the list of 18 players selected for the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge to be played Friday, Feb. 14, in New Orleans during NBA All-Star 2014.

Carter-Williams, the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October/November, leads all first year players in scoring (17.4 ppg), assists (6.7 apg), rebounding (5.6 apg) and steals (2.41 spg). Davis, the league leader in blocks (3.27 bpg), is averaging a double-double with 20.4 points and 10.4 rebounds. Lillard, the 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year has the Trail Blazers near the top of the Western Conference standings thanks to averages of 20.6 points and 5.6 assists.

The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge — televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and broadcast live on ESPN Radio, with live audio also available on NBA.com in multiple languages — features two teams each consisting of nine rookies and sophomores mixed together, drafted from a pool selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches.

Joining Davis and Lillard among sophomores selected to participate are the Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes, the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal, the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond, the Houston Rockets’ Terrence Jones, the Boston Celtics’ Jared Sullinger, the Toronto Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dion Waiters.

Carter-Williams is joined in the player pool by fellow rookies Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Atlanta Hawks’ Pero Antic, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Utah Jazz’s Trey Burke, the New York Knicks’ Tim Hardaway, Jr., the Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo, the Boston Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk, and the Brooklyn Nets’ Mason Plumlee.


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  • LLC#12

    That Rookie team is turrible. What a vast gulf between the Rooks and the Sophomores. the sophomore team would probably be a playoff team. I was hoping Teletovic might sneak into the sopohomore team but, no such luck.

  • Taranvir

    Do they also allow 3 write-ins still?

  • Max

    SO lucky that it isn’t Rookie’s versus Sophomore’s anymore or it’d be a blowout!

  • robb

    this is looks like a beating of epic proportions

  • Chris

    No Tony Wroten??

  • CheeseMaestro

    No love for T Ross?

  • KipSmithers

    Glad to see Jones included.

    I say get rid of the Rookie/Sophmore game. Instead, have two games. One with “young” players(say 6 years in the league or less) and one with “veteran” players(say 7 years or more). The Young game will be played on Saturday and the Veteran game will be played on Sunday(Friday for Skills, Threes, and Dunk). The fans will vote the starters in with the coaches selecting the reserves like normal. This way, not only do the fans get to see who they want, but legit deserving guys who don’t get the love have a better shot at getting that love. Too many guys are left of the rosters from older players getting “legacy” votes and this gives those “legacy” guys a chance to be seen without taking a spot away from other deserving players. While some could say this will devalue making an All-Star team, you really get the best of both worlds: Two great games. One fun weekend. ALL the Stars.

  • GrizzGnG

    hes not a rookie and he def can’t make it on the sophomore squad.

  • The Seed

    This game is a waste, I rather see something else now.

  • Ugh

    “Coming up next on All Star Weekend: can co-captains Andre Miller and Chris Andersen lead the thirteenth through twenty-sixth most popular players aged over thirty past Nick Young and Kemba Walker’s young guns on bad teams who didn’t get voted into the All Star game directly?”

    I think the only people more excited by this pitch than the fans would be the advertisers.

  • KipSmithers

    The younger players would face the younger players and veteran players would face the veteran players, not go against each other. Also, they could get voted in by the fans.

  • Ugh

    Well hell, who wouldn’t want to see Andre Miller face off against Mike Conley?

    Except the people who vote for All Stars, that is.

    Because they don’t.

  • Ugh

    Look, I’ll give it to you straight, just in case this comes across as a little obtuse.

    The All Star game starters are the 10 most popular players. The reserves aren’t necessarily the exact next 14 most popular players, but there’s nobody in there who wasn’t in the top 30ish in fan voting most years.

    If I understand your proposal, there are two vets-vs-vets teams of 12 and two youngsters-vs-youngsters teams of 12.

    As the fans have already voted for their ten most popular players, and the coaches have picked players who are usually in the top 25 of fan voting, you’re basically expecting fans will watch two entire games consisting of the 25th through to 75th most popular players.

    That’s not exciting, enticing or entertaining. It just sounds like a patronising consolation prize at best, and a dull and mediocre at pair of games to sit through at worst.

    It’s just not a good idea.

  • vic_diesel

    No love for anthony bennett?

  • retrobat

    I laughed my *ss off to this comment.

  • KipSmithers

    I just don’t see it. The NBA is so deep with deserving talent, so I don’t much of a drop off in play. Plus, it is an exhibition. The NBA has to balance the two.

  • Ty

    How does a guy like Terence Ross not get named to the game he dropped 50 on one of the best teams in the NBA (Clippers) that’s crazy to me. No Ben McLemore? No Miles Plumlee? No love for KCP from the Pistons but Olynyk sneaks in tho I don’t get it………….

  • Lloyd

    Haha why?

  • Lloyd

    I’ve been saying this for years. 3 on 3 tournament where every team sends a 3-4 man squad. Make it all day Saturday going into the festivities that night. I’d pay to watch that.

    Only deterrent would be the injury risk.