The top 20 second-year players

ESPN.com Illustration

Sometimes we need only a week, or a month, or a season to see just how special a player can be.

That, however, is rare. More commonly we need more time to see a player's path. Young players can be up one month and down the next, with all sorts of variables impacting their success and failure. And if they were good as rookies, that doesn't assure a promising career arc; nor does a bad first year doom them to a short career. Here's a snapshot of how the 2011-12 rookies are doing as sophomores, with no regard to what happened last season. Sadly, with Ricky Rubio only recently joining the Timberwolves and not yet close to being fully recovered, an already short class of talent looks even shorter.