The closer we get to the start of the regular season, the more it looks as if John Calipari is an unstoppable force in basketball. Four seasons into his job at Kentucky, he has had: a national championship, two SEC Tournament titles, four top ranked recruiting classes, and two top NBA Draft picks. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The foundation has already been laid for next year, and if the recruits aren’t enough to prove it, the NBA Draft stands as evidence of how Kentucky has ascended atop college basketball.
Sports Illustrated released their NBA Draft “Big Board”, with their predictions for the 2013 NBA Draft. It’s no surprise that Nerlens Noel is projected to be the top pick, but what is even better is the fact that Alex Poythress (6th) and Archie Goodwin (10th), are also among the top ten selections. It stands as a testament to what Calipari and his staff have been able to accomplish in their time in Lexington so far, and the fun is just beginning.
Nerlens Noel (1st): “Executives from two likely lottery-bound teams identify the Kentucky freshman as the probable top pick in 2013. Noel is an elite shot blocker, with superior instincts and timing similar to last year’s top pick, Anthony Davis. Still limited offensively — “What high school big man isn’t?” an NBA scout said — Noel is decent off the dribble but will get the bulk of his points in the paint, where his size and 7-foot-4 wingspan will give him a big advantage.”
Alex Poythress (6th): “Poythress is another physical specimen who utilized superior size and instincts to overwhelm prep-level competition. One general manager compared Poythress favorably to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the No. 2 pick in 2012. Like Kidd-Gilchrist, Poythress will have to polish his offensive game; for now, he is strictly a transition player with an aggressive, attack-first style in the paint.”
Archie Goodwin (10th): “Goodwin is a slashing, Dwyane Wade-type scorer comfortable playing a half-court game. In the paint, Goodwin absorbs contact well and is an excellent finisher. Like many young players — and Goodwin, who turned 18 in August, is very young — he needs to bulk up and work on his shot, but scouts love his potential as an NBA two-guard.”