Sports Illustrated's Top-50 College Basketball Players Omits Nesmith, Lee

Greg Arias

The consensus is that Aaron Nesmith will soon hear his name called in the first round of the NBA Draft, so it is curious why the Vanderbilt star was omitted from a recently released Top-50 college basketball players in the nation according to Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo.

Likewise, Lee ended the season averaging 18.6 ppg and leading an offensively challenged team to a surprising three wins in conference play despite being the focal point of opposing defenses following Nesmith's injury.  

In his article dated, May 19, Woo wrote the following in regard to how the selections were made. 

"The rankings were determined with a number of things in mind—stats, of course, were a primary factor, but talent level, importance to the team, supporting cast, team success and any other unique circumstances were also given consideration. Therefore, it’s not just a ranking of which players simply score the most points or have the best statistics, nor is it a collection of who’s had the best college careers. While a player’s year-to-year improvement may be cited, previous seasons’ accomplishments were not part of the evaluation."

When looking at Nesmith's season, cut short by injury, there is no denying his stats were worthy of inclusion. 

Through 14 games Nesmith, a sophomore from Charleston, SC  was leading the SEC in scoring at 23.0 ppg along with 4.9 rebounds per game. He was shooting 51.2% from the field and 52.2% from three-point range and 82.5 % from the free-throw stripe before his season-ending injury.   

While his season was considerably less than others, his 23.0 ppg average would have ranked him fifth on the season. 

Conversely, Lee finished the season at 18.6 ppg, and his omission is understandable since his scoring average placed him outside the top-50 in the nation. 

But Nesmith is a different story.  

So why is Nesmith not in that top-50?

The answer is simple. His injury that limited him to just 14 games cost him the chance at earning many honors this season.  

It's a shame that such a talented player was injured and missed so much of what is likely his final season in college, but what's more disappointing for fans and media alike who did not get to see him finish his college career the way he should have been able to have done.