2013 NBA Draft Preview

As the 2013 NBA season is now over, it is time for a new group of young men to have their dreams come true. On Thursday, June 27 in Brooklyn, the NBA will host the 2013 draft selection. Unlike last year, there has been some debate about who will go first.

A few months ago, the unanimous decision was that Kentucky center Nerlens Noel would go number one despite his knee injury on February 12 against the Florida Gators. Recent reports state that the Cleveland Cavaliers may go with Maryland center Alex Len instead.

In honor of “the big day,” here’s an inside look at a few of the draft prospects:

1. Trey Burke, 6-1 : Burke is a sophomore guard from the University of Michigan. He made a name for himself by winning the Naismith National Player of the Year Award and helped his team get to the NCAA Championship game (they lost to Louisville). Other awards include John R. Wooden National Player of the Year, NABC Coaches’ Division I All-America first team, Bob Cousy Award for Nation’s Top Point Guard, Big Ten Player of the Year and more. He has been described as “a solid point guard” and has been compared to the likes of Tony Parker and Chris Paul (because of his height). Burke says that one of his influences and favorite players is Allen Iverson.

2. Gorgui Dieng, 6-11 : Dieng is a junior center from the University of Louisville. He was part of the Louisville team that won the NCAA National Championship in April. Although he is leaving Louisville early, he managed to set a school record for most blocks in a single season (128) and ranked eighth nationally in blocked shots. During his sophomore season, Dieng was named to the NCAA West Region All-Tournament and Big East All-Tournament teams. He has also been compared to Roy Hibbert. Dieng is not as big as the Pacers center, but he has ability to secure the paint and make jump shots.

3. Pierre Jackson, 5-11 : Jackson is a senior point guard from Baylor University (my school). He transferred from the College of Southern Idaho in 2011 and was a pivotal role Baylor’s NIT Championship. Despite his lack of height, Jackson is quick, fearless and has the ability to knock down tough shots. Some have doubted that he can be effective in the league because of his height, however, people like Nate Robinson and JJ Barea have been successful despite their small statures. In 2013, he was named the NIT Most Outstanding Player, USBWA District VII Player of the Year and made All-District VII, First Team (USBWA) and All-District VIII, First Team (NABC). Jackson has been known to model his game after small guard Nate Robinson, but his favorite player is LeBron James.

4. CJ McCollum, 6’3: McCollum is a graduate point/shooting guard from Lehigh University. He has been named to a list of top 10 players to watch for in the NBA Draft. Like Noel, McCollum had a season-ending injury when he broke his left foot on Jan. 5 while playing Virginia Commonwealth. Before he finished, however, McCollum averaged 23.9 points, five rebounds and 2.9 assists. He is most known for his performance in Lehigh’s upset against Duke in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. He has drawn comparisons to the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard. McCollum ranks second in both transition scoring and half court scoring efficiency. He is a tough competitor and is projected to go eighth to the Detroit Pistons.

5. Nerlens Noel, 7-0 : Noel is a 19-year-old freshman forward at the University of Kentucky. Before his season-ending injury, Noel was a key component to Kentucky’s team, averaging 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He was also the SEC Freshman of the Week three times (1/21, 1/28, 2/4), SEC Freshman of the Year and made All-SEC Defensive Team, First Team All-SEC, Freshman All-SEC and USBWA Freshman All-America. Noel has been compared to Tyson Chandler because neither are solid scorers, but are effective on the defensive end. In high school, he was also named the USA Today National Player of the Year and rated the top prospect by ESPNU recruiting and Scout.com. Although his season ended in February, a recent mock draft predicted the Cavaliers to take Noel first.

6. Phil Pressey, 6-0 : Pressey is a junior guard at the University of Missouri. He was named SEC Preseason Player of the Year and averaged 11.9 points and 7.1 assists during the season. His junior season was cut short due to a first-round loss to Ole Miss, but he still played passionately and did his best to rally his team to win. His height (or lack thereof) has also been in question as he is listed as six feet tall, but may be a little shorter. His speed and ability to make things happen on the court make up for it. If drafted, he is projected to go late in the second round.

7. Peyton Siva, 6-1 : Siva is a guard that recently graduated from the University of Louisville. He helped to lead the Cardinals to win the NCAA Championship against the University of Michigan. Siva was named the Big East Tournament MVP, won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award and made Big East All-Tournament, NCAA Final Four All-Tournament and All-Big East Third teams. The best part of his game is his speed and tough defense, causing him to be compared to the likes of Speedy Claxton and Jacque Vaughn. As with many of the perspective guards this year, he is small, but he is athletic and strong.

8. Jeff Withey, 7-0 : Withey is a center and recent graduate from the University of Kansas. He transferred in from Arizona and was deemed eligible to play in the fall of 2009. Withey has the ability to put up big numbers, averaging 13.7 points and 8.5 rebounds. Because of his size and athletic ability defensively, Withey is able to be a successful post player in the league. His play on defense has drawn comparisons to Shane Battier in that both can distract their opponent and break up a play. In 2012, Withey broke the Kansas and Big 12 shot single-season record with 140 blocks. He also won Big 12 Player of the Year, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was named to Big 12 All-Defensive Team in 2012.

For a complete list of the latest 2013 NBA Mock Draft, click here.

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Categories: basketball, National Basketball Association, NBA, NCAA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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