The rosters for the Rookie - Sophomore Challenge were announced today and not surprisingly Al Thornton's name was not on the list. As I predicted last week, the assistant coaches found nine other candidates they deemed more worthy.
Actually, I was not nearly as pessimistic in my earlier post as I should have been. The problem is (and I failed to mention this before) that they are required to choose at least four guards for the squad. Well, of the top 9 rookie scorers in the league, only two of them are guards, and one of them has only played in 19 games so far. So while I assumed Conley would be left off the team from a sheer lack of games, they really couldn't leave him off, because someone has to bring the ball up the court with Navarro isn't playing. As it is, they had to fudge the rules by calling Kevin Durant and Jamario Moon guards (yes, Durant plays a lot of guard for the Sonics, but Moon does not play guard ever).
So while it seems a shame to have Conley play while he's barely been healthy this season, you'd almost have to replace him with Nick Young just to be able to field a viable team. And it's hard to argue with any of the big man selections, even though Thornton is now up to sixth in scoring for rookies. Guys like Moon and Sean Williams and Luis Scola are contributing to decent teams (better than the Clippers at any rate) and do a lot of good things other than scoring. For what it's worth, you could make a case for Al over Jeff Green - Al scores more in fewer minutes, the Sonics are worse than the Clippers, 47% shooting in January versus 35%(!), etc. - but Green is so much more visible in the Sonics youth movement.
It's the Sophomore team where the selectors were scraping the bottom of the barrel. Andrea Bargnani is shooting 37.5% from the field this season. Sheesh.
So, barring an injury withdrawal, you can remove Al from the ClipsNation poll about who'll be in New Orleans.