This week’s call-ups are assembled by Scott over at Ridiculous Upside. Enjoy.
Randy Livingston Memorial “On The Edge” Call-Up Rankings
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to season stats
1. Carlos Powell, Albuquerque Thunderbirds (22.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.8 apg, 50% FG) – Hardwood Paroxysm’s Matt Moore says it best: He’s taken it to another level since the start of the Showcase and all of a sudden Albuquerque looks like an actual basketball team. Points, rebounding, defense, effort, the whole package. As worthy as anyone you’re going to find.
2. Mike Harris, Rio Grande Valley Vipers (25.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 59% FG) – He was just released by the Rockets, who called him up as Chase Budinger injury insurance.Â They used Jermaine Taylor instead.Â As Matt Moore says, “Welcome back Mike. Enjoy your stay.Â It won’t be long.”
3. Dontell Jefferson, Utah Flash (19.4 ppg, 5.7 apg, 4.4 rpg, 47% FG) – I’m going to take this space to explain why I ranked Jefferson as my 7th favorite prospect after having him in the top the last time around.Â He’s been in the Jazz system for the past two seasons, he’s got the best all-around game as a point guard in the D-League, he’s typically very good defensively, his coach is the nephew of Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan and he was still passed over for Sundiata Gaines, a player I wouldn’t call a prototype point guard – there’s got to be something behind the scenes that we’re missing.Â Conversely, as Matt Moore put it, “I think Gaines cock blocked Jefferson.”
4. Anthony Tolliver, Idaho Stampede (21.7 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 48% FG, 36% 3pt) – He’s also had a call-up since we did this last, with the Portland Trail Blazers.Â Reports coming back from that weren’t positive, but reports coming back from the Showcase most certainly were, as I talked to more than one coach that said he’s the most NBA-ready player in the D-League.Â We ranked him number four, but I’d agree that he’s obviously NBA-caliber.Â Also, Moore has already anointed him as this year’s Randy Livingston Memorial Award winner.
5. Morris Almond, Springfield Armor (29.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 51% FG) – I handed this one off to D-League Digest’s Steve Weinman: Super-duper-dynamic scorer.Â But since he won’t be a go-to guy at the next level, what else does he do well enough right now?Â Still, he’s too effective at filling it up for me to drop him further than this.
6. Rod Benson, Reno Bighorns (14.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 1.9 spg, 51% FG) -Matt Moore said it succinctly, and said it best: “There, you see? You win, you bastards.Â He stopped blogging.Â Now call him up, you ignorant barbarians.”Â I agree, ignorant barbarians, call him up. (Note: I don’t think you’re an ignorant barbarian, Daryl Morey.Â We’re going to be BFF’s 4 lyfe)
7. Dwayne Jones, Austin Toros (17.4 ppg, 15.1 rpg, 2.5 bpg, 66% FG) – I hate that I had to be the one to defend Dwayne Jones, but since I ranked him highest, here goes nothing: He FREAKING SLEEPWALKS WHILE AVERAGING SEVENTEEN POINTS AND FIFTEEN FREAKING REBOUNDS!Â YES, WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING LIKE HE’S TRYING, HE MAKES OTHER D-LEAGUER’S LOOK SO INFERIOR THAT THEY’D BE BETTER OFF TAKING THE ROCK’S ADVICE ON WHAT MOVIES TO ACT IN AS OPPOSED TO TRYING TO OUTREBOUND THIS BEHEMOTH.Â There, happy? I hate all that he stands for, but he’s killing the D-League.Â He’s also averaging 6.2 offensive rebounds per game.
8. Antonio Anderson, Rio Grande Valley Vipers (16.8 ppg, 6.7 apg, 4.1 rpg, 1.5 spg, 47% FG) – I’ve fallen in and out of love with him.Â So has everyone else.Â For the in-love view, let’s have a chat with Steve Weinman: “Likely to rise on my list every week after this. Can do everything well… jump-shooting is coming along… has great size for a back-up PG and the potential to be a situational stopper at the two.”Â For the bad, our very own Jon L: “Personally I’m still a bit wary of Anderson’s offense. He was very solid in December, but pretty erratic so far this month. He’s also shooting a terrible percentage from outside, but averaging as many attempts as guys shooting 10-15 percentage points higher.”Â For what it’s worth, I’m in the middle, but if he keeps struggling as he has been since Will Conroy came to town, I’ll be leaning heavily toward Jon L’s point of view.
9. Reggie Williams, Sioux Falls Skyforce (25.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.1 apg, 59% FG, 38% 3pt) – I can’t fathom how Steve had him unranked.Â I’m not going to explain why other than tell you to look at the numbers.Â Also, I featured him in this piece.
10. Mustafa Shakur, Tulsa 66ers (19.1 ppg, 6.6 apg, 3.8 rpg, 2.3 spg, 52% FG, 36% 3pt) – Once again,I ranked him highest.Â Yesterday, I wrote why: Shakur really impressed me in his two games in Idaho (Plus, looking at Jefferson’s numbers, they’re not as mind-blowing as you’d think).Â Anyway, back to Mufasa Mustafa – he just plays a good, smooth game of basketball. He really sees the court well, but I’d actually prefer him to drive more often than he does because his team doesn’t have much for legit scoring options.Â He’s also not great at shooting off of the dribble, but I don’t think I saw him miss off the catch-and-shoot, so that helps – a lot.Â Defensively, he’s actually a lot better than what I expected, having the speed and size to play at the NBA level.