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NCAA Basketball

Ranking College Basketball’s Top 15 Underclassmen Likely to Declare for NBA Draft

Top 15 College Players Likely to Declare for NBA Draft

Julius Randle
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With the college basketball season winding down, just two weeks left, it's time to start directing our focus at the upcoming NBA draft which is loaded with talent. Many look at this year's class as the most talented since the LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade class of 2003.

Let's take a look at the top 15 underclassmen NBA prospects likely to declare for the NBA draft.

Honorable Mention: T.J. Warren, N.C. State

T.J. Warren
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Honorable Mention: T.J. Warren, N.C. State

T.J. Warren
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In honor of the Sweet 16, I decided to add a 16th player on this list. It's uncertain about how well Warren's skills will translate to the NBA. Warren is a scorer and he can put up huge numbers offensively. However, his shooting percentage of just 26.7 percent from the perimeter is horrid and needs fixing.

15. Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky

Willie Cauley-Stein
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15. Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky

Willie Cauley-Stein
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Cauley-Stein could definitely put up bigger numbers than he does right now, but his size and potential make him a likely first-round selection. If he adds a bit more mass, he will be a hot commodity when the draft rolls around.

14. James Young, Kentucky

James Young
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14. James Young, Kentucky

James Young
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James Young is a pretty raw college player, but he has a bright future in the NBA. Young has a deadly three-point shot, but he rarely uses his athleticism as much as he should.

13. Nik Stauskas, Michigan

Nik Stauskas
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13. Nik Stauskas, Michigan

Nik Stauskas
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Nik Stauskas is a scary shooter. If I were an NBA team, I would be drooling over his shooting touch and ability to completely take over a game. However, not many people talk about how athletic Stauskas really is. Watching him drive and dunk is something of a masterpiece.

12. Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

Tyler Ennis
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12. Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

Tyler Ennis
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Tyler Ennis might end up being one of the best point guards in the NBA one day, but he may not be ready quite yet. He's a game-manager and one of the best passers out there. A little more strength and experience will land him in the top 10 if he decides to stick around another year -- which isn't likely.

11. Jerami Grant, Syracuse

Jerami Grant
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11. Jerami Grant, Syracuse

Jerami Grant
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Grant is a pretty athletic forward with great upside. Not many players in the class can match his potential and it seems like the sophomore is one of the most improved players in the nation.

10. Montrezl Harrell, Louisville

Montrezl Harrell
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10. Montrezl Harrell, Louisville

Montrezl Harrell
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Harrell is quite the physical specimen and there's a reason he's considered a top NBA prospect. However, he is raw offensively and he's not quite where he needs to be when it comes to offensive production. He does average 14.0 points and 8.4 rebounds, however, comparable to Branden Dawson of Michigan State. Great athlete, poor shooter.

9. Rodney Hood, Duke

Rodney Hood
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9. Rodney Hood, Duke

Rodney Hood
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Rodney Hood might get lost in the mix when it comes to talking about top underclassmen NBA prospects, but Jabari Parker's teammate is just as solid as any. Hood has great size and can handle the ball, if need be. Shooting from the perimeter is one of his strengths as he shoots 42 percent from long-range.

8. Noah Vonleh, Indiana

Noah Vonleh
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8. Noah Vonleh, Indiana

Noah Vonleh
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Noah Vonleh might have left Indiana a bit early, but the recently NBA-declared freshman has tremendous potential to be a star at the next level. The NBA is always searching for big men with potential and Vonleh fits the bill. Heck, 11.3 points and nine rebounds per game isn't too shabby for a freshman. One more year would have made the difference between a top-10 pick and a top-five pick, however.

7. Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Aaron Gordon
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7. Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Aaron Gordon
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Aaron Gordon is the kind of player that comes around once in a great while. Big, athletic and can jump through the roof. The kid reminds me a little bit of Blake Griffin when he was at Oklahoma. In fact, both of their freshman year numbers were similar. Blake averaged about 14 points and nine rebounds and Gordon is averaging 12.5 points and eight boards.

6. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Marcus Smart
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6. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Marcus Smart
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Marcus Smart had one incident on the court this year and that scared away a few NBA teams. However, he has been backed by his coach and fellow coaches when talking about his personality. While he didn't have the ideal season, he has all the tools needed to be an NBA star. It could take a few years before he reaches the 'star' level, though.

5. Gary Harris, Michigan State

Gary Harris
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5. Gary Harris, Michigan State

Gary Harris
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Gary Harris can seemingly do it all. He can pass, shoot, defend and rebound. While he could use one more year in college to really solidify a possible 'Rookie of the Year' type season in the NBA, he certainly is far more ready than many other underclassmen in this class.

4. Joel Embiid, Kansas

Joel Embiid
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4. Joel Embiid, Kansas

Joel Embiid
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Joel Embiid has had some injury issues, causing him to drop to No. 4 in my underclassmen rankings. He has flirted with the idea of returning for his sophomore season, but if I were a betting man, I would say he's probably going to declare. If you're looking for a guy who could be the next big center star in the NBA, here he is.

3. Julius Randle, Kentucky

Julius Randle
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3. Julius Randle, Kentucky

Julius Randle
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Julius Randle isn't exactly what you would call a powderpuff. As a big bruiser down low, Randle averaged a double-double this season with 15 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Right now, he is the best big man in the entire class and many have him pegged as a possible No. 1 overall pick.

2. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

Andrew Wiggins
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2. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

Andrew Wiggins
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Andrew Wiggins is a game-changer. Any franchise that can land the Canadian-born star will have an offensive superstar for years to come. I could see him becoming a Carmelo Anthony-like scorer at the next level.

1. Jabari Parker, Duke

Jabari Parker
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1. Jabari Parker, Duke

Jabari Parker
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A lot of people have Andrew Wiggins as the top player in this year's draft class, but I am not one of those people. I have said from the beginning that Parker is the better overall player and will end up being a more valuable player at the next level. Let's face it, Parker is far more dynamic. He can shoot, defend and grab rebounds with the best of them.

Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.