Academic Elite Session 1: Campers weigh in on 2013 NBA Draft


The first day of the first Academic Elite Session just happens to fall on a day that many of these campers dream of: The night of the 2013 NBA Draft.

On the first day in Albright, some of the players came up with their own expert analysis as to who is the best prospect in the 2013 draft class. The consensus among the Academic Elite participants is that there is no consensus. Among the campers, five different players were mentioned as the best overall prospect of the incoming rookie class.

Kansas Jayhawk Ben McLemore was one of the names that came up periodically. The 6-foot-5 freshman guard scored just under 16 points in his lone season in Lawrence and may be, in the hopes of one camper, Cleveland-bound.

“I like his game, I feel he’s the best all-around scorer,” Donte Wallette said. “Plus, I’m from Cleveland, so I really hope they get him.”

The man that sunk McLemore and the Jayhawks in the NCAA Tournament on a three-pointer to send the game into overtime, Michigan guard Trey Burke, got some recognition as well. In his first year of action as a sophomore, Burke contributed 18.6 points and 6.7 assists en route to leading Michigan to the NCAA Tournament final. The on and off the court mentality, as well as the ability to come up big in the clutch, caught the eye of Khari Gatson.

“He’s a really good point guard,” Gatson said. “He can shoot, he can dribble, he can do a lot of things. He’s just a great player on the court and an even better one off of it.”

Kentucky product Nerlens Noel, who was one of the top college basketball players last season before tearing his ACL, also got a few mentions. Noel almost averaged a double-double with 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, while only trailing his predecessor, New Orleans big man Anthony Davis, with 4.4 blocks, compared to an average of 4.7.

Camper T.J. Booth recognized Noel’s ability in college and believes that he has separated himself from the rest of the pack.

“After his season at Kentucky, before he tore his ACL, he was really producing out there,” Booth said.” He was really making a difference on the court. You could tell by a lot of the games that he was in that, he would really contribute.”

Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Hoosiers’ name came up throughout the camp. The junior burst onto the scene with plenty of highlight reel dunks while averaging 13.6 points while shooting just under 60 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from beyond the arc.

While the Academic Elite campers have their own mock drafts in mind, who gets to the be the first to walk across the stage at the Barclay’s Center? With only a couple hours left until the start of the 2013 NBA Draft, everyone will know shortly.

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