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Top 10 Players Most Likely to Enter the 2013 NBA Draft

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Top 10 Players Most Likely to Enter the 2013 NBA Draft

Stern
Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

The 2012-13 NCAA season promises to see plenty of freshmen looking to make a name for themselves, along with returning sophomores looking to build off their rookie seasons. If all goes well, a lot of those players will hope to have their names called next June.

Listed, are the top ten players likely to put their names in the hat for the 2013 NBA Draft. Based on skill level, NBA ready physique, and being coached by John Calipari, the most likely players to declare are counted down.

This year’s freshman class is highlighted by a lot of size and length that could see players leave school early if things go as projected. If you thought last year’s Kentucky Wildcats were tall and long, they don’t skip a beat this year with the potential to have three players selected in the 2013 NBA Draft lottery.

Size is something every NBA team is always interested in and there’s no shortage of big men that could declare early with a successful 2012-13 season. Four players all hovering around the 7’0” mark could hear their names called early on, come draft night.

An NBA ready body will always get attention by scouts, and there’s no shortage of players who have the potential to step in and hold their own on the court. Players that have the size to absorb the bruising from bigger players and can survive the physical demands at the next level, will always have an edge in the minds of the scouts.

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10. Archie Goodwin

Goodwin
Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

Archie Goodwin

Freshman, Kentucky Wildcats

Goodwin is a natural scorer who has scouts saying if he can prove he’s consistent, Kentucky will have more lottery picks this year than they did last year. He likes to attack the rim and can get there often, as he has the speed and ball handling to beat his man off the dribble. At 6’5” 195lbs, he’s known for his offensive skills so he’ll have to prove he can do it on the defensive side in order to stay in the lottery conversation. However, with a wingspan of 6’10” and speed to keep his man in front him, as well as jump into passing lanes, the room for growth is there.

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9. Adonis Thomas

Thomas
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Adonis Thomas

Sophomore, Memphis Tigers

Injuries slowed down Thomas in his freshman year as he showed signs of being a beast as a high school senior. Listed 6’7” 215lbs, Thomas has NBA ready size for a small forward. His defense is going to be what gets him there, as he has a 7’0” wingspan and athleticism that allows him to jump out of the gym. He’s tough, chases down rebounds and can finish around the basket. Thomas’ shooting needs work, but he has all the physical tools needed to excel at the next level. Which is why early on, he is projected as a potential lottery selection.

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8. Steven Adams

Adams
Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Steven Adams

Freshman, Pittsburgh Panthers

At 7’0” and 240lbs, Adams has size that NBA teams would like to have right away. With true center size and great lower body strength, he is already hard to control down low in the paint and still has room to grow. Adams has great mobility for his size and a huge compete level that helps make him an exceptional rebounder and solid defender. He can finish around the rim but isn’t much of a shooter. Still, his size alone excites scouts at the potential for growth. As the old saying goes, you can’t teach size. Adams is already getting consideration as a lottery pick next June.

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7. Isaiah Austin

Austin
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Isaiah Austin

Freshman, Baylor Bears

Its a scary thought when you have a seven footer that hasn’t finished growing and is comfortable stepping out 19 feet to hit jumpers. Austin is listed at 7’0” 220lbs, with a wingspan of 7’4” that allows him to almost dunk on his tippy toes. He’s comfortable setting a screen and then cutting to the basket or curling out for a jump shot. Austin is quick for his size, and uses his length to dominate in the paint on defense. He’ll be blocking or alternating shots all season for Baylor as he grows more comfortable with his body. Austin is going to have to add some size because his thin body will easily be pushed around at the next level. However, there is no denying his skill or the potential it can grow to become, which is why he’s considered to be an early lottery pick.

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6. Alex Poythress

Poythress
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Alex Poythress

Freshman, Kentucky Wildcats

Poythress is a great athlete at 6’8”, 215lbs and has a motor that never lets him quit on defense. He has length with a 7’0” wingspan allowing him to guard multiple positions on the floor. A hustle player that has the reputation for doing all the little things needed to win games. With an NBA ready body for a small forward, Poythress can rebound, defend along the perimeter and doesn’t shy away from banging in the post. Offensively, he can use some fine tuning in some areas but that hasn’t prevented him from being considered a top ten pick next June.

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5. Tony Mitchell

Mitchell
Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE

Tony Mitchell

Sophomore, North Texas Mean Green

Mitchell averaged a double-double in his freshman year for North Texas, with 14.7ppg and 10.3rpg. At 6’8”, 225lbs Mitchell is an incredible athlete that has proven he can guard multiple positions. Undecided on a true position, Mitchell bounces between both forward spots, seeing more action as a power forward last season. He is long and quick which led to him averaging three blocks per game last year. A very aggressive rebounder, he has a 20-20 game on his resume already. He needs to work on his shooting and has a tendency to turn over the ball at times. If he can shoot a higher percentage and limit the turnovers, scouts see him being a potential high lottery pick.

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4. James McAdoo

McAdoo
Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

James McAdoo

Sophomore, North Carolina Tar Heels

Playing behind John Henson and Tyler Zeller in his freshman year, McAdoo didn’t get as much playing time as he hoped. However with Henson, Zeller, Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall all gone, the Tar Heels now become McAdoo’s team. Only averaging 6.1ppg and 3.9rpg, McAdoo will see his numbers shoot up across the board as plays begin to run through him on offense. He is an aggressive rebounder with a 7’1” wingspan that gives him excellent shot blocking ability. He has a sound offensive game as well, being able to run the floor, handle the ball, attack the rim and doesn’t shy away from making the big play. It’s no wonder McAdoo is being discussed as a top five pick.

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3. Cody Zeller

Zeller
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Cody Zeller

Sophomore, Indiana Hoosiers

Listed at 6’11” and only 210lbs, Zeller is going to have to work on his size if he wants to play center in the NBA. However, there is no denying his talent and high basketball I.Q. In his freshman season, Zeller put up wonderful numbers shooting 62.3% from the floor and 75.5% from the line, averaging 15.6ppg. He averaged 6.6rpg, which will only improve this season as he gets bigger and more comfortable. Zeller can run the floor very well for a big man and can also get on the offensive glass. Some thought he could have been a lottery pick last spring, and with a good season he could see himself go in the top three.

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2. Nerlens Noel

Noel
Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

Nerlens Noel

Freshman, Kentucky Wildcats

Measured at 6’11” and somewhere around 220lbs, Noel has a wingspan of 7’4” that makes him a tremendous shot blocker. A player still growing into his body, his defensive game stands out more than his offensive one. Noel uses his length and athleticism to block shots and make shooters think twice before driving down the lane, something that has scouts very excited about his potential. He can run the floor better than most big men he’ll play against and can finish at the rim with ease. Still, as he grows into his body he’ll need to learn to use his size more to his advantage and polish his down low game. If he can show signs of that, he’ll be in discussion as a first overall pick.

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1. Shabazz Muhammad

Muhammad
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Shabazz Muhammad

Freshman, UCLA Bruins

Muhammad has already brought a lot of buzz to UCLA this season. Listed at 6’6”, 225lbs the guard is described as an exceptional athlete, a left handed scoring threat that can get to the rim with ease or spot up for a smooth jump shot. He has endless energy on the defensive end and gets on the offensive boards. He also isn’t afraid to step back and shoot the three. Projected to go in the top three of several early mock drafts, Muhammad is likely to go very high next spring, if not first overall. Muhammad appears to be the type of player that can step into an NBA lineup and make an immediate impact.