The 2012 NBA Draft came and went last Thursday and now it’s time to take an early look at six teams that welcome in a new batch of stars to the world of college basketball.
NBA Picks: Anthony Davis (1), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2), Terrence Jones (18), Marquis Teague (29), Doron Lamb (42), Darius Miller (46)
Another year, another batch of Wildcats headed to the NBA. The draft began with a pair of Kentucky stars in Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchirst before totaling out at six by pick number 46. However, head coach John Calipari welcomes in another top-notch recruiting class highlighted by Nerlens Noel and Alex Poythress. Archie Goodwin, another freshman, will also step right in, as well as North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow, who will take over for Teague at the point guard position.
NBA Picks: Bradley Beal (3)
Beal went third overall in last Thursday’s draft, but Florida fans should not worry looking ahead. The loss of Erving Walker (graduation) weakens the Gators’ loaded back court from a season ago, but Michael Rosario and Kenny Boynton are back. The return of Patric Young and Erik Murphy will have Florida and head coach Billy Donovon fighting near the top of the SEC, yet again.
NBA Picks: Dion Waiters (4), Fab Melo (22), Kris Joseph (51)
The Celtics took both Melo and Joseph in the draft, marking the second consecutive year in which Boston has selected a pair of college teammates (Purdue’s Moore and Johnson, 2011). However, the front line for the Orange will still have plenty of representation moving forward with C.J. Fair, Rakeem Christmas, and incoming freshman DeJuan Coleman. Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams will anchor the top half of Syracuse’s infamous 2-3 zone.
NBA Picks: Thomas Robinson (5), Tyshawn Taylor (41)
After falling to Kentucky in the National Championship game, Kansas lost both Robinson and Taylor to the NBA. However, big man Jeff Withey will anchor things down low, while big things are expected from the now-eligible Ben McLemore. Sophomore-to-be Naadir Tharpe will get his chance to take over for Taylor in the Jayhawks’ back court.
NBA Picks: Harrison Barnes (7), Kendall Marshall (13), John Henson (14), Tyler Zeller (17)
James Michael McAdoo returns down low for the Tar Heels after the losses of both Henson and Zeller, while P.J. Hairston and the return of both Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald from injury, will ensure UNC with some experience. The Tar Heels welcome in a top-notch recruiting class headlined by Marcus Paige, J.P. Tokoto, Brice Johnson, and Joel James.
NBA Picks: Andre Drummond (9), Jeremy Lamb (12)
Uncertainty is high in Storrs heading into the 2012-13 season, especially given the fact that the Huskies are banned from postseason play due to poor APR numbers. Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright give UConn one of the top back courts in the conference, but it’ll be interesting to see if the weight of the ban affects the Huskies throughout the season.
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