The 2012 NBA Draft

Tyler D'amore

The 2012 NBA Draft will be held on June 28, 2012 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The draft will start at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN. This draft class offers a lot more talent than last years. The NCAA Division One Men’s Basketball Tournament Winners the Kentucky Wildcats will lose all five of their starters to the NBA. Anthony Davis will most likely go as the number one pick; he is the freshman power forward out of Kentucky and was the best player at the college level this season. This six foot 10 inch 19-year-old is amazing at penetrating the lane, and he also has the size and motor to compete at the NBA level. He has a 7-4 wingspan and averaged a double this season with 14.3 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game. His field goal percentage is an amazing 63.6% on top with an impressive 4.6 blocks per game. Davis’ defensive skills and athleticism will make him a great pickup for whatever team gets lucky enough to win the first pick in the lottery.

The other four top prospects to round out the top five include Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, and Andre Drummond. Thomas Robinson is the starting power forward from Kansas. Robinson finished his junior season averaging almost 18 points per game and almost 12 rebounds per game. He has shown significant improvement since his freshman year, and his three-point percentage was .462 this season. His leaping ability is incredible which has helped him become an excellent rebounder. Kidd-Gilchrist is another freshman from Kentucky. The 18 year old small forward is an excellent defender and is extremely competitive. Bradley Beal is the top shooting guard available according to David Alridge, NBA analyst. Beal is the freshman out of Florida with excellent court vision. He can shoot the ball well and has a great basketball IQ. Harrison Barnes rounds out the top five prospects. Barnes the sophomore from UNC can do it all. He can shoot the ball very well which can be backed up by his excellent 17.3 points per game average. Barnes can also defend and has been a consistent ball player in both his years at North Carolina.

The top center available in the draft will be UConn’s big man Andre Drummond. He has great potential especially with a reach of over nine feet. This 18 year old giant is an excellent rebounder, pulling in 7.6 boards per game. He also averaged ten points per game and almost three blocks per game in his freshman year. If he wants to be an overall solid player he must work on his free throws because as of right now his average free throw percentage is .295. Jared Sullinger is a true power player who knows how to score inside and rebound. He has been a consistent star at Ohio State for the past two years. His points per game averages for freshman and sophomore year were 17.2 and 17.4. His rebounding has been excellent but has dropped from 10.2 to 9.1. Sullinger’s three-point percentage was .444 this season. Jeremy Lamb from UConn will also most probably be selected in the lottery.

The Zeller brothers will also most probably get picked up in the lottery since they are two of the best centers available. Cody is the freshman from Indiana averaging 15.5 points per game and shooting over 60% from the field. His older brother Tyler is the seven foot senior from UNC and has improved in every category each year. This season he scored 16.4 points per game and brought in almost nine and a half boards. His free throw percentage is phenomenal at 81.6%. Both of these young men and quick and have the size to play in the NBA.

Perry Jones, Damian Lillard, John Henson, Kendall Marshall, and Austin Rivers will all most likely go towards the middle of the first round. Perry Jones has a great leaping ability which makes him a tremendous rebounder pulling in a little under eight boards a game. Lillard is one of, if not the best point guard available. This was his best year yet at Weber State, he has unbelievable speed and can penetrate the lane extremely well. His average numbers this season were 24.5 points per game with four assists per game. His free throw percentage is .887 which is amazing and from three point range he shoots .409. Henson and Marshall both from UNC are great prospects in this year’s draft. Henson averaged a double double this season with points and rebounds and also averaged just under three blocks a game. Marshall has great court vision has a natural basketball mentality. The best part of his game is his passing, he is a true point guard and his 9.8 assists per game prove that. Austin Rivers is a freshman point guard at Duke who can shoot and penetrate. He is also the son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

Other talent will round out the first round could consist of Quincy Miller, Terrence Jones, Dion Waiters, Arnett Moultrie, Meyers Leonard, Terrence Ross, Tony Wroten Jr., Royce White, Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague, and Fab Melo. Other solid players to look out for are Moe Harkless, Tony Mitchell, Andrew Nicholson, Jefferey Taylor, Festus Ezeli, and John Jenkins.

In conclusion, this draft will be filled with talent unlike last year’s draft. Kentucky’s whole starting five has declared to enter for the 2012 NBA Draft. This includes three freshman with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Marquis Teague, and two sophomores with Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb. They also all have a good chance of getting picked up in the first round. UNC has four players to offer this year’s draft including Zeller, Barnes, Henson, and Marshall as McAdoo decided to stay at UNC for his sophomore season. Drummond and Lamb hope to bring some NBA caliber talent from UConn since Kemba could not do much. Kemba did have a good season averaging over 12 points per game but it was not helpful as the Bobcats recorded the worst winning percentage in NBA history with .106.