Friday, October 5, 2007

Player Rankings: Best Defensive Players



Marcus Dove, Oklahoma State: Length and athleticism make him an outstanding defender.
Brandon Rush/Mario Chalmers/Russell Robinson, Kansas: Best defensive trio in the country.
Jerel McNeal, Marquette: Very active and aggressive defender racks up steals.
Marcus Ginyard, North Carolina: Very good length and size helps him defend many positons.
Darren Collison, UCLA: Jumpstarts the Bruins' team defense at the point.
Kyle Weaver, Washington State: Can defend multiple positions due to his versatility.
Garrett Temple, LSU: His performance against J.J. Redick two seasons ago was outstanding.
Dominique Kirk, Texas A&M: Aggies' terrific defense last season was led by Kirk.
Tony Lee, Robert Morris: Picks up steals and can also defend bigger players with his strength.
JaJuan Smith, Tennessee: Volunteers' undersized perimeter group is helped by Smith's defense.
Travis Walton, Michigan State: All-Defensive Team member, Walton is the best Spartan defender.


Hasheem Thabeet/Jeff Adrien, Connecticut: Will help Huskies lead nation in blocks--again.
Shawn James/Kieron Achara, Duquesne: One of the best shot-blocking duos around.
Mickell Gladness, Alabama A&M: Led the country in blocked shots last season.
Joey Dorsey, Memphis: One of the best shot-blockers and rebounders in the country.
Robin Lopez, Stanford: Not the scorer his brother is, but Robin is a better defender.
Taj Gibson, USC: Can block shots due to his athleticism and active ways around basket.
DeVon Hardin, California: Great athleticism makes him a great rebounder/shot-blocker.
Steven Hill, Arkansas: SEC Defensive Player of the Year is a tremendous shot-blocker.
Randal Falker, Southern Illinois: Very good shot-blocker and rebounder.
Roy Hibbert, Georgetown: Best center in country can change games with his defense.
Omar Samhan/Diamon Simpson, St. Mary’s: Underrated defensive duo.


  1. If Jerel McNeal is on that list, Paul Gause has gotta be there too.

  2. As I was typing about one of the defensive players and "racking up steals", I immediately thought of Gause.

    However, Gause is not the overall defender that McNeal is. I also think he's going to lose some minutes this year to guys like Hazell, Smith, etc.

  3. Fair point, but steals are still a large part of playing defense.

    Chris Smith will be the last guy off the bench if he's even eligible. He won't be a big time contributor at all.

  4. Oops, put the wrong link to my name. Ha.

  5. Good job mentioning Hill...he's an AMAZING defensive player. Very intimidating.

  6. As a Cal, I like seeing DeVon Hardin up there, but don't know if he's deserving quite yet.

    With his strength, length, feet, quickness, tenacity, and explosiveness off the floor he should be the toughest post defender in the country. Don't get me wrong, he is good, but to be great he needs to be consistently better at denying deep post position and boxing out.

    He should average 10 boards (at least) and 3 blocks a game (instead of the 8 and 2 he averaged last year).

  7. Keep an eye out for Jarvis Varnado, from MSU. He's a blocking machine...dude is crazy, he broke all kinds of MSU blocking records in his freshman year (last year).

  8. What about Demarcus Nelson of Duke? He was first team on the ACC all defense team last year, can defend four positions, and shut down Jared Dudley in both of Duke's games against BC last year. I think you should have him on the list.

  9. Nelson was not first-team All-ACC last season; the first-team was Jamon Gordon, Zabian Dowdell, Ekene Ibekwe, D.J. Strawberry, and Josh McRoberts.