The 2012 NBA draft was one of legendary proportions. Two players from the same school were selected with the top two picks, one rookie was selected to Team USA and the national champion Kentucky Wildcats had six players drafted.
All of those feats were achieved by John Calipari's crew, for the record, which forces one to ask the question: Will the Rookie of the Year also be a former Kentucky Wildcat?
With players such as Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, there is an outstanding chance that such will transpire. They are not alone in this rookie class, though, as there are more than a handful of players who could contend for the award.
The following slides will feature my odds for each favorite to win the award.
Draft Position: First Round, Pick 18
The Houston Rockets had three first-round draft picks during the 2012 NBA draft. With those selections, they opted to go with two players that have garnered headlines as the future of the franchise: shooting guard Jeremy Lamb and combination forward Royce White.
For whatever reason, people appear to be ignoring the player with the most upside on the roster: Terrence Jones of the Kentucky Wildcats.
Jones is a combo forward who stands at 6'10" and 252 pounds. He's a menace out of the post as he can back a player down, turn and face the basket or facilitate to slashing scorers or spot-up shooters.
What makes him so versatile is that he can be just as efficient while playing the perimeter.
Jones is an outstanding ball-handler with beautiful court vision. He can hit slashing opponents from the top of the key or even run the pick-and-roll with his fellow bigs. If that doesn't tickle your fancy, he can also stroke it from anywhere on the floor or take it in off of the dribble for a powerful finish.
All Jones needs to improve is his shot selection and his body language. Considering those are two coachable traits, it is safe to say that Jones is heading for stardom with the Houston Rockets.
As a rookie, expect Jones to be the Kenneth Faried of the class. He's an excellent rebounder and versatile defender who will make headlines for his knack to come up with the big play when necessary.
Although the Rockets may not win many games, Jones will fill the stat sheet as well as any rookie in the league.
Ogden's Odds: 30/1
Position: Shooting Guard
Draft Position: First Round, Pick 3
Bradley Beal has drawn comparisons to both Ray Allen and Eric Gordon. He's a sharpshooting 2 that rebounds well, handles the ball with efficiency and gives a consistently infectious effort on defense.
Consider him to be your dream shooting guard with minor questions about his size.
As a rookie, there is a chance that Beal struggles early. His offensive game is predicated around his ability to shoot the basketball, which may be difficult to do during the first few months of the regular season.
Don't forget, the Washington Wizards will be without star point guard John Wall for at least the first month of the season.
If Shelvin Mack and A.J. Price are incapable of facilitating the offense, Beal may just be another shooter hoping to find his groove. Although he is more than capable of creating for himself off of the dribble, to place that type of pressure on a rookie on a possession-by-possession basis may prove to be too much.
The second half of the season will be a strong one for Beal though, which suggests he could enter the discussion for the top award for rookies late in the season.
Ogden's Odds: 25/1
Draft Position: First Round, Pick 9
Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons is in a prime position to succeed. His frontcourt partner, Greg Monroe, is an offensive-minded player whose abilities will garner a majority of an opposing defense's attention.
He's also a poor excuse for a defender, which means Drummond will have a significant amount of opportunities to pad his stat sheet as a help-side shot alterer.
Drummond has drawn comparisons to Dwight Howard, but truthfully, he is much more similar to Marcus Camby. He will crash the boards on both ends of the floor, hold down the paint on defense and score in opportunistic situations.
From cleaning up the offensive glass to finishing off of the pick-and-roll, Drummond will find a way to even out at roughly 10 points per game. His rebounds should sit between 7.0 and 8.0 due to the fact that he's yet to secure a starting role, but that does not mean he can't win the award.
As Kenneth Faried proved in 2012, a late push is more than enough to get you into the picture. If the rookie class ends up underwhelming, that could be enough for the Connecticut big man to take home the title.
Ogden's Odds: 25/1
Position: Shooting Guard
First Round, Pick 4
After winning the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year award, point guard Kyrie Irving is clearly the focal point of all opposing defenses when facing the Cleveland Cavaliers. In response to such a threat, the Cavaliers decided to draft their greatest need: a shooting guard.
If only they had realized how weak the position had been for roughly a decade.
The key to their selection of Dion Waiters is that they've acquired an outstanding ball-handler. Irving will face double-teams and elevated pressure on the perimeter, which creates a need for a player who can take the pressure off of the former Duke Blue Devil.
Waiters can do that by facilitating the offense on a handful of possessions, thus enabling Irving to move without the basketball. He can also stuff his stat sheet that way and prove himself worthy of the comparisons to Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.
And that's before we even get to his uncanny ability to light up the scoreboard.
Waiters will take it to the rack and finish with ferocity. He is fearless in traffic and creative around the basket, which enables him to score against taller defenders.
With a developing jump shot, his value to the team grows even larger. The question is, will he be able to fill the role of the catch-and-shoot specialist that the Cavaliers have long needed?
If so, he could be a surprise selection for Rookie of the Year.
Ogden's Odds: 25/1
Draft Position: First Round, Pick 5 (2011)
Jonas Valanciunas is not your typical European big man. He is not the finesse, sharpshooting player that will keep a defense on its toes. Instead, Valanciunas is all about defense and intensity.
And that's why he will fit in perfectly with the league's ninth overall scoring defense.
Valanciunas is not afraid to bang in the paint, which is exactly what head coach Dwane Casey is looking for. He's fierce on the boards, aggressive as a shot-blocker and long enough with his 7'4" wingspan to disrupt any shot attempt.
The fact that he's 7'0" tall sure doesn't hurt, either.
On the offensive end, Valanciunas is solid at finishing around the basket. This should create pick-and-roll opportunities with point guards Kyle Lowry and Jose Calderon, although Andrea Bargnani may be the target of those sets.
Nevertheless, Valanciunas will clean up the offensive glass and drop in a few buckets each time out. He will flirt with 10 and 10, develop a reputation as one of the game's better young interior stoppers and enter the Rookie of the Year conversation.
Whether he wins simply depends on how his numbers compare to those of Anthony Davis.
Ogden's Odds: 20/1
Position: Small Forward
Draft Position: First Round, Pick 2
When the Charlotte Bobcats selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the second overall draft choice, it was a sign that the franchise was ready to embrace a winning culture. MKG won the 2009 NJSIAA Tournament of Championships with St. Patrick High School, a gold medal at the 2010 FIBA U-17 World Championships and the 2012 NCAA championship with the University of Kentucky.
In other words, Kidd-Gilchrist is a pure winner who has found success at every level. The hope, of course, is that MKG will discover that same level of achievement in the NBA.
As a rookie, the wins may not pile up. What will transpire, however, is his emergence as one of more reputable all-around defenders in the game.
His tenacity while playing on the ball and prowess while defending off of it will lead to respect from his peers. Kidd-Gilchrist's ability to attack the basket off of the dribble and finish in traffic will make him a highlight reel favorite.
One way or another, he will fall into the good graces of the NBA world.
As for his status as a Rookie of the Year contender, Kidd-Gilchrist will benefit from the youth and inexperience surrounding him. No player can be considered a go-to option in Charlotte, which opens the door for MKG to fill that void.
If he is able to do so, he'll have a legitimate possibility at winning the award.
Ogden's Odds: 25/2
Position: Shooting Guard
Draft Position: First Round, Pick 8
Terrence Ross has exceptional size, a sweet stroke from everywhere on the floor and outstanding potential on defense. Consider him to be the only shooting guard in this class that is the complete package.
However, can Ross be elite in any of the categories? Until we uncover that answer, we must address what we already know.
Ross is 6'7" with explosive athleticism. He is sound on defense already and is more than capable of exploiting the passing lanes, locking down a shooter and taking a motion scorer out of rhythm due to his ability to move around opposing screens.
On offense, he is as dominant a shooter as any in this draft class. He has deep three-point range that was on full display at Washington as he shot 37.1 percent from distance despite lacking a true point guard to facilitate his scoring.
When not taking jump shots, Ross can get to the basket off of the dribble and finish in traffic with both crafty layups and overwhelming dunks.
As a member of the Toronto Raptors, there is a great chance that Ross starts at shooting guard. Landry Fields may have received a hefty pay check, but he has proved to be nothing more than a quality reserve and potential sixth man.
DeMar DeRozan, meanwhile, is much more fit for small forward.
The Raptors were in dire need of a sharpshooter entering this offseason. They've found that player with Terrence Ross, and his abilities should be on full display.
With top-of-his-class scoring numbers, expect Ross to be a quiet contender for Rookie of the Year.
Ogden's Odds: 10/1
Position: Small Forward
Draft Position: First Round, Pick 7
Harrison Barnes' fall down the draft board has been considered by many Barnes fans to be disappointing. The truth is Barnes couldn't have found a better fit for himself than the Golden State Warriors.
With the Warriors, Barnes is in position to become the starter from day one. He's a smooth-shooting 3 that is capable of playing lockdown defense on a consistent basis.
GSW presents one of the few scenarios in which pure shooting ability is all he'd need. All those other skills he has displayed are just an additional bonus.
The Warriors will win and lose games based off of their interior defense and sharpshooting. With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson on the perimeter, there is no lack of the latter.
For Barnes to emerge as a consistent option at small forward, he must be able to maintain the pace from mid-range and distance. He must also develop a low-post game as David Lee both stretches the floor and takes it inside.
Should he do so, the Warriors may shock people with the amount of wins they pile up. Barnes may also surprise as he wins the Rookie of the Year award.
Ogden's Odds: 10/1
Position: Point Guard
Draft Position: First Round, Pick 6
Damian Lillard has become a trendy pick to win the Rookie of the Year award due to his ability to light up a scoreboard. What will make him a star, however, is arguably the most underrated aspect of his well-rounded game: his court vision.
Lillard may not have posted elite assist numbers in college, but his ability to see the floor was absolutely phenomenal. His 4.0 assists came on just 2.3 turnovers per game, which proves how responsible Lillard is with the ball in his hands.
His Player Efficiency Rating of 33.58 only further solidifies his status as one of the best prospects with the ball in his hands.
As for Lillard's scoring ability, he is reminiscent of Monta Ellis of the Milwaukee Bucks. He can shoot lights out from both mid-range and beyond the arc, but is also capable of driving the lane and dropping in twos from close range.
The main difference is Lillard shoots with efficiency. His skill set signals a star in the making.
Ogden's Odds: 7/1
Position: Power Forward/Center
Draft Position: First Round, Pick 1
As the first overall draft choice, Anthony Davis is the instant favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award. We need not forget that the since 2000, only five award winners have been the first overall selection.
Which trend will Davis build upon?
As an elite defensive prospect, the former Kentucky Wildcat has a leg up in the statistical department over a majority of the players drafted. He will likely continue to block shots at an elite pace considering the lackluster defensive abilities of perimeter players Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon.
His help-side defense becomes of even greater importance when considering the fact that Ryan Anderson will be lining up next to him.
Davis' rebounding will also be key for his success, which suggests he'll have a rookie season reminiscent of Emeka Okafor's 2005 campaign, a season in which Okafor averaged 10.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.
The difference may be the scoring, as Davis is unlikely to put up the 15.1 points per game that Okafor posted. Nevertheless, Davis will be the favorite throughout the duration of the season due to his monster college campaign and time spent with Team USA this summer.
Until proved otherwise, there is no one that is more likely to get the Rookie of the Year award.
Ogden's Odds: 6/5