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By LARRY VAUGHT
It’s been less than a week since the 2012 NBA draft that provided a historic night for Kentucky basketball, but it’s no time to look back. Instead, it’s time to look ahead and what might happen in the 2013 draft.
Yannis Koutroupis of Hoopsworld.com is already out with his top 10 NBA draft prospect for 2013 as of today. And there’s bad news for UK fans. Coach John Calipari “only” has two of the top six players, not one-two like he had this year with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
But Koutroupis has UK freshman Nerlens Noel going No. 1 and freshman Archie Goodwin going No. 6. Here’s what he wrote about each player:
As the offseason progresses, we’re going to profile all of the top players going into the 2012-13 NCAA season, starting today with the top 10 prospects as of right now.
Nerlens Noel (Kentucky, Fr.) – 6’11, 216 lbs. Center
Noel has the early leg up on the competition for the top overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. He’s going to Kentucky with quite possibly the biggest shoes to fill of any John Calipari recruit ever, even bigger than the ones Derrick Rose and Marcus Camby left to fill. While those players were great for Coach Cal, Anthony Davis, the number one pick in the 2012 draft, accomplished even more than they did.
Noel, like Davis, is a terror defensively who blocks shots at an unnatural rate. Davis actually said that Noel is a better shotblocker than he is, which is high praise coming from the National Defensive Player of the Year who averaged 4.8 swats a contest.
The competition for the top spot is going to be fierce, though. While it’s Noel’s to lose now, he could easily find himself slipping if he doesn’t progress the way he needs to offensively and strength wise. It’s going to be vital for Noel to not listen to all the talk in the media and get caught up in always comparing himself to Davis. He has to be the best Nerlens Noel he can be, that’s all that matters.
Archie Goodwin (Kentucky, Fr.) – 6’5, 195 lbs. Shooting Guard
There is the opportunity for Goodwin to step in to the starting shooting guard position at Kentucky and potentially be another one-and-done under Coach Cal. He’s going to have a veteran point guard in Ryan Harrow, a transfer from N.C. State who spent this past year practicing everyday against the national championship squad, setting him up and relieving some of the pressure in the backcourt.
Goodwin is a tremendous athlete who is going to really impress when the Wildcats get running. He’s tough to stay in front of and he can really finish around the rim.
With the addition of a reliable jump shot, something he didn’t possess in high school, he could become the top shooting guard in this year’s draft. Being efficient will be almost as important. Goodwin can’t try to do too much. This year’s Kentucky team isn’t expected to be as good offensively as last year’s group, but that doesn’t mean he has to take on a heavy scoring responsibility. Davis and MKG proved that you can get drafted one and two without being dynamic offensively, which Goodwin has to keep in mind all year long.
For the complete article about all top 10 players, go to http://www.hoopsworld.com/looking-ahead-the-2013-drafts-top-10