Try this for ratings: imaginary income

By Tom Clegg and Jeff Kirik

In an effort to evaluate each player’s contribution to this year’s NIU men’s basketball team, we have decided to give each an imaginary salary.

The most any player can receive is $500,000 and the least is $50,000. On our pay scale only the top players in the country, such as Danny Manning, Hersey Hawkins and J.R. Reid, would be considered for the top salary. An Honorable Mention All-American would receive about $400,000, while a bench jockey would get the minimum.

WARNING: We know college basketball players should not be paid. This is only a grading system. Purists need not be offended.

Rodney Davis—$350,000

The 6-foot-3 guard is an All-Midwest candidate but is a notch below All-America material. He led the team in scoring, assists, steals and minutes played. Aside from fellow senior Randy Norman, Davis was the only real scoring threat in the NIU attack.

Donnell Thomas—$250,000

Coach Jim Rosborough is already pushing to have the Huskie rebounding star appear on posters as the next Charles Barkley. Thomas averaged 8.5 boards a game and posted double-figure point totals 18 times on his way to an 11.5 scoring average. His 237 rebounds made him the Huskies’ all-time leading freshman board man.

Mike Grabner—$150,000

NIU’s fourth-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder this year, Grabner had a tendency to disappear during the course of a game. He finished his career at No. 21 on the NIU career points list.

Brett Andricks and Randy Norman—$140,000

Both could have earned better pay, but Andricks’ back spasms and Norman’s reckless shooting resulted in too much bench time for both guards. Andricks led the team in field-goal accuracy (51.2 percent) and Norman provided a constant three-point threat.

John Culbertson—$120,000

A major disappointment, Culbertson was given every opportunity by Rosborough to prove his worth. However, the 6-foot-8 senior did post respectable stats with about 9 points and 7 rebounds a game.

Jo Jo Jackson _$100,000

Jackson showed promise, but was too erratic to get a steady starting spot. Has good athletic ability, as demonstrated in his pregame aerobatics.

Andrew Wells and Brian Banks—$95,000

Like Jackson, both these 6-foot-7 forwards need to learn how to control their ability. Banks can score, but is not a good rebounder. Wells can rebound, but cannot score. Both are good leapers and should be major contributors in the future.

Stacy Arrington—$55,000

Has apparent talent, but lacks confidence. Arrington did not perform up to the coaching staff’s expectations. He scored only 11 points in 17 games.

Matt Hardy and Kendall Jones—$50,000

Neither player was on the court enough to tell how much they are worth.

Donald Whiteside—$46,429

The tiny point guard played well enough to earn a $100,000 salary, but because he was academically ineligible for the last 15 games, he will receive a prorated income.

Tom Sellers and Dave Pygon—$50

They played a combined seven minutes before quitting the team. Sellers managed to accumulate 1 rebound, 1 foul and 1 field-goal attempt in six minutes of action. Pygon connected on his only field-goal attempt, a three-pointer, in his lone minute of playing time.