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Top 5 Early Entry 2013 NBA Draft Picks From the SEC

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Top 5 Early Entry 2013 NBA Draft Picks From the SEC

SEC Draft
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The SEC has been one of the major conferences for future NBA talent over the past few seasons. Kentucky and John Calipari have a held a monopoly on some of the best one-and-done players in the nation and other SEC teams have top caliber players thrown into teams all around the NBA. It is almost expected that there will be a decent number of players that leave college early to go to the NBA from the SEC.

However, the 2013 NBA Draft is going to be oddly lacking in players from the SEC. Players from the conference that were expected to declare (like Jarnell Stokes, Alex Poythress, Kyle Wiltjer, Johnny O’Bryant III, Patric Young and Willie Cauley-Stein), surprised everyone by deciding to stay another season in search of an NCAA tournament. This is great for the SEC as a whole. The conference will be one of the most talented in the entire country next season and should be one of the most exciting and unpredictable leagues to watch.

Despite the number of athletes that decided to remain at their respective universities, there were a select number of extremely talented players that decided to leave college early and opt for the NBA draft. These players have trained their entire lives for an opportunity to play in the NBA, and in a year without a select group of clear top-caliber draft picks, these players are set to excel at the next level.

Here is a list of the top 5 early entry NBA Draft picks out of the SEC:

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No. 5 Archie Goodwin – Kentucky Wildcats

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Goodwin was one of the shining players from Kentucky last season and would have gotten more attention if he had been able to play in the NCAA tournament. He could produce a few points off the bench immediately for a struggling team.

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No. 4 B.J. Young – Arkansas Razorbacks

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

B.J. Young was one of the best young players in the SEC last season. Whichever NBA team picks him will probably have to develop him, but he’s got a lot of potential and upside.

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No. 3 Phil Pressey – Missouri Tigers

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Pressey was the best passer in the entire country last season. His decision making skills are the only lacking aspects of his game. He may be small, but he could be a great backup for a solid team.

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No. 2 Nerlens Noel – Kentucky Wildcats

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Noel is likely to be one of the top picks of the draft, but he could be a gamble after his late-season injury. Big men don’t always translate to the NBA immediately. After all, nobody wants to accidentally draft another Hasheem Thabeet. However, he’s an extremely talented player and, if he doesn’t make an immediate impact, will eventually be a great NBA player.

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No. 1 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Georgia Bulldogs

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Caldwell-Pope is an outstanding athlete and jump shooter. He’s the type of player that could be a mid-to-late first round pick and immediately make an impact from the bench for a team that is likely equipped to make the NBA playoffs in 2014.