Seniors rising on draft boards

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  • 903 mens national championships Nov 30, 2012
    Sports Legend might be reversing a bit for the 2013 draft, however. A number of seniors are putting up big numbers early. That, on its surface, shouldn't surprise anyone. But it's the significant improvement in their games that is drawing the attention of scouts.

    After talking with numerous NBA scouts and executives, here's a look at a group of college seniors who look like they could make some noise come June.

    Mason Plumlee, C, Duke Blue Devils
    Top 100 Rank: 13
    Plumlee has been considered a potential lottery pick since his freshman season at Duke. Blessed with size and excellent athleticism, scouts considered it just a matter of time before he blossomed into an elite big man.

    Three years into his college career, scouts were ready to give up. Plumlee flirted with declaring for the 2012 draft, but couldn't secure a promise in the first round.

    Teams worried about his inconsistency, his toughness and his lack of progress on the offensive end. He looked the part, but he rarely played it.

    This season, everything is different. Plumlee has been dominating on both ends of the ball. He's averaging 21 points and 11 rebound per game, and he's doing it against some tough teams such as Kentucky and Minnesota. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is, for the first time, running the offense through Plumlee and has encouraged him to become a leader on the team.

    Teams are always looking for big athletes who can rebound the ball and score around the rim. If Plumlee continues his strong start, he should hear his name called in the lottery.

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