Nation's most overrated prospects
McAdoo and Austin among top prospects not playing to their potential
During college hoops season, Jay Bilas and Chad Ford will start the week off by addressing a big question, evaluating NBA prospects on the rise and looking ahead to the next week.
The discussion: Who are the five most overrated prospects in college basketball?
Jay Bilas: I am not a big fan of "overrated" prospect lists. When we go through this exercise, I always get the feeling that we are simply blaming the player for our mistakes in projecting and evaluating talent, or our "irrational exuberance" over a player's future potential. Instead of calling ourselves out for our mistakes, we tend to pile on the player for failing to live up to our billing of him. We rate and hype them, and if they don't meet our standard, we call them "overrated" instead of stating that we whiffed, or simply moving on to those players who are meeting that standard.
Look, I'm not naive. I understand that, right or wrong, dealing with expectations and the media is part of the deal. But I am still not comfortable with it. Notwithstanding our whiffs, there are some players who have not lived up to our advance billing. But it should also be noted that they haven't lived up to it yet. There is no clock on this, and just because Anthony Davis figured it out as a freshman and was ahead of the curve while Nerlens Noel hasn't (yet), doesn't mean that Noel won't get there, or that what he is doing now is not impressive.
Consider Noel's numbers and performance so far. Halfway through his freshman season, Noel is averaging 10.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.7 blocks, 2.7 steals and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 58 percent from the floor and 58 percent from the line on 3.9 attempts per contest. Noel is the only player taller than 6-foot-5 who ranks in the top 30 in the nation in steals, and is the only player in the top 30 in the country in both steals and blocks.
Contrast that with the freshman season of Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. In his first season at Georgetown, Ewing averaged 12.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 blocks, 1.08 steals and 0.6 assists per game while shooting 63 percent from the floor and 62 percent from the line on 4.5 attempts per game.
Does the fact Noel's numbers are comparable and in some categories superior to Ewing's numbers indicate that Noel is as good or will be as good as Ewing? Of course not. However, it underscores that this is not a race, and today's "overrated" player can be tomorrow's hot prospect. These players who are not yet where we want them to be -- or where we projected them to be -- may very well get there in time. Yet time is the one thing we don't allow them.
Here are four players who might need some more time to develop:
To read more from Chad Ford and Jay Bilas on the most overrated prospects in college basketball, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- No. 2 Badgers need late rally to edge G'town
- No. 5 UNC stomps No. 22 UCLA in Bahamas
- Kansas rides Ellis to win in Orlando opener
- Gonzaga's Perkins (broken jaw) out indefinitely
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game