2013 NBA Draft: Predicting Stars Who Will Populate the Top 10

John RichardsonCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2012

2013 NBA Draft: Predicting Stars Who Will Populate the Top 10

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    The 2012 NBA draft saw Kentucky's Anthony Davis occupy the coveted No. 1 spot, but who will take the honor in 2013?

    It is vital for top players in the NCAA to have outstanding seasons and in turn boost their stock in the draft.

    A good year could warrant a top-10 place for a lesser-known candidate, while a poor season could drop a highly rated superstar as low as the second round.

    With a little less than a year to wait until thrilling draft action resumes, here is something to chew over: a prediction of the stars who will populate the top 10 spots.

No. 10 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

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    On top of having the most interesting name in the top 10, Caldwell-Pope displays an amazing amount of athleticism in his game.

    The sophomore shooting guard out of Georgia averaged 13.2 points his freshman season and will be looking to come back with even bigger numbers next season.

    He has grown from 6'4" and 190 lbs to 6'5" and 200 lbs in the past year and will certainly pose more of a physical threat to opposing defenses.

    He led the Bulldogs in minutes and steals (1,028 minutes and 58 steals) and will provide solid depth to any NBA team that swoops him up.

No. 9 Otto Porter

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    The Hoyas small forward turned some heads last year with an impressive freshman season.

    He averaged 9.7 points per game and 6.8 rebounds.

    For a 19-year-old, Porter is an incredibly large specimen.

    His long arms and silky smooth shot give him an edge, but if he is to compete in the NBA he will have to bulk up a bit.

    Many are touting this guy to go much later in the first round; however, if he can progress at the rate he has been for the past couple of years he won't do his chances of a top-10 pick any harm.

No. 8 Rudy Gobert

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    NCAA basketball fans won't know much about Rudy Gobert.

    The lanky 7'1" center currently plies his trade in his native France but has done enough to grab the attention of NBA scouts.

    He shot 79.4 percent from the field in his first season with Cholet (in France) and showed great potential as a shot blocker and rebounder.

    He is also in need of bulking up a bit, but that will likely come with age.

    At the moment he looks more like Gumby than a professional basketball player.

No. 7 Alex Poythress

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    Kentucky's true freshman Alex Poythress has a lot of weight on his shoulders now that a significant chunk of the national championship winning side has been dismantled.

    The Tennessee native had offers from the University of Florida, Vanderbilt and Memphis, but opted to sign for the Wildcats on November 10, 2011.

    He was a McDonald's All-American in his senior season and was ranked No. 17 in the class of 2012.

    Look for Poythress to make a big splash in NCAA and then take his talents to the NBA in 2013.

No. 6 Steven Adams

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    New Zealander Steven Adams is set to join up with Pittsburgh for the 2012-2013 NCAA season.

    He is already being touted as one of the best shot blockers in the game and with a 7'0", 240 lb. frame, it doesn't come as a surprise.

    Adams has international experience playing with the Kiwis and should have no problems transitioning to college ball.

    I expect to see this man dominate the floor for Pitt.

No. 5 Tony Mitchell

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    North Texas' Tony Mitchell missed the first nine games of his freshman season, but came back to make quite an impact.

    He averaged 14.7 points per game and racked up a little over 10 rebounds a game.

    At 6'8", 235 lbs. he is a well-sized small forward who has shown his agility and versatility on the floor.

    Overall, Mitchell is a fantastic player.

    He is a more-than-proficient defender and put up respectable shooting percentages.

    We will see how he does in 2012-2013, but the potential is certainly there for all to see.

No. 4 James McAdoo

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    UNC's James McAdoo got some valuable minutes last season and significantly boosted his stock for the 2013 draft.

    His understanding of the game and overall athletic ability is what sets him above the rest.

    The small forward will likely see a lot more floor time this year and put up some bigger numbers.

    He averaged 6.1 PPG and 3.9 rebounds in 2011-2012.

    If he continues his hard work combined with his good attitude, I could see him going anywhere within the top four.

No. 3 Shabazz Muhammad

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    UCLA were lucky enough to land top-rated Shabazz Muhammad amongst competition from every program in the nation.

    His athleticism and and big-bodied approach to the game will see him dominate the NCAA with relative ease.

    The shooting guard has everything an NBA team would be looking for: he is a hard-worker, a solid scorer and a proven leader.

    With the hype already surrounding this man I wouldn't be surprised to see him sneak up to No. 1 for the coming draft.

No. 2 Cody Zeller

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    Cody Zeller will likely be instrumental in 2012-2013 if Indiana are to make a serious run at the national championship.

    In Zeller, the Hoosiers have a center with a solid understanding of the game and a skilled post player who can put up some big numbers.

    In 2011-2012 (as a freshman) Zeller averaged 15.6 PPG and 6.6 rebounds.

    His agility around the rim was unprecedented and gave Indiana some much needed bite on both ends of the floor.

    He will need to tack on some weight if he is to compete physically in the NBA, but that can always be achieved through good diet and weight training.

No 1. Nerlens Noel

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    Another Kentucky starlet is Massachusetts native Nerlens Noel.

    The center has a 7'4" wingspan and is known for his elite shot blocking abilities.

    Like his predecessor, Anthony Davis, one year in the NCAA is all it should take for Noel to develop into a premier talent.

    I haven't seen someone with his overall athleticism and skill on the court in a long time.

    Look out for this guy to be leading his team to an NBA championship in a few years.