#1 Joe Harris (previous rank: #1)
His play in the win over NC State tells us all we need to know. Joe is our star, the trusty choo-choo tank engine that pulls this train along.
#2 Akil Mitchell (previous rank: #2)
In our four game winning streak, BIG FUNDAMENTAL (I decided that it has to be in all caps whenever it is written) has averaged 34 minutes, 13 points (on 60% shooting from the field and 70% from the line), and 8 rebounds per game. Those are "impact forward" numbers, right there. And of course, there is this:
#3 Mike Tobey (previous rank: #4)
I mean, c'mon. Who doesn't love our little Toblerone? His testicles are descending right before our very eyes. And he accepted the challenge from Richard Howell - a grown-ass man with a full-on beard and a rockin' last name - and went toe-to-toe with NC State's burly big man and best player (that's right, I said it -- suck it C.J. Leslie). Tobes has emerged as an impact post player, with silky moves and a beautiful touch with the basketball. Maybe more than anyone else on the roster, I'm excited to see what the future holds for this kid. By the time he's done, he could join the likes of Ralph, Junior, and T-Wat in the storied annals of Wahoops.
#4 Paul Jesperson (previous rank: #6)
"The best zero-point, one rebound, one assist, one block, one steal, one foul game in the history of basketball." That's the acclaim Jespy earned on Tuesday night against the Wolfpack. He got a possession-ending deflection on each of State's last three possessions. It's weird, but he kind of embodies everything that Bennettball is about. If his deep shot starts dropping, ummmm... that'd be good.
#5 Justin Anderson (previous rank: #5)
There's a term I like to use, but it's usually in reference to point guards: he's the straw that stirs the drink. During the win streak, J.A. has been that swizzle stick for us, with his hustle and explosive athleticism. He's still red-meat raw, but you can see a real basketball player taking shape here.
#6 Evan Nolte (previous rank: #3)
Early foul trouble has taken him out of the flow of each of the last two games, but he still drilled seven three-pointers in the four game stretch. He's officially our second-best perimeter scoring option, and does enough other stuff to merit mention as having a "good" all-around game. I love this guy as Joe Harris 2.0, bigger, faster, more explosive. Project Nolte to his junior season, and you see what I mean.
#7 Jontel Evans (previous rank: #9)
Trust me, I hate his non-existent jumper, and a HATE his 36% free throw shooting, but Jontel stepped to the line and knocked down the pair we needed to beat State. Plus, there's no overlooking the fact that we're just a better team when he's on the floor.
#8 Darion Atkins (previous rank: #5)
The longer he's out, the further his stock will drop, especially with Tobey staking such a bold claim to increased playing time. Atkins' six minutes against State were gimpy and weird, so we can just strike those from the record. His defense, athleticism, and shot-blocking will be boons to the team when he's able to return at closer to 100%.
#9 Doug Browman (previous rank: #11)
Somebody has to spell Jontel. J-O-N-T-E-L. (Sorry.) When Browman's on the floor, the opposing team knows exactly where to attack. But, I like to say "Dougie," and I like to sing "Doug-Doug-Oh-Doug-Doug-Dougie-DougDoug." See also:
And also, obviously:
#10 Teven Jones (previous rank: #8)
I wish I knew why Teven isn't playing. I think a lot of people are wondering about that.
@ Georgia Tech on Sunday. Can't afford to lose that one on the heels of such a great four-game stretch.