The 2012 is vastly different from the 2011 NBA Draft we experienced this summer. We are now less than 11 months away and we don't even know if there will be a 2011-12 NBA season, but we do know that college basketball will be here in the fall and this 2012 class gives every fan something to look forward to.
11 or 12 of our top prospects this season would have been considered top five talents in the 2011 Draft due to several one-and-dones that returned to school like Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones, and Jared Sullinger. These members will congregate with a strong incoming freshman class featuring Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist, Austin Rivers and Bradley Beal.
Let's look forward at some of the top shooting guards in the 2012 Draft:
Austin Rivers- Duke, Freshman
Arguably the top recruit in his class, Rivers arrives to Duke able to make an immediate impact in filling in the shoes of Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler and the hype will be high. The 6'4" scoring guard is a gifted scorer with an outstanding outside shot as evidenced by hitting nine straight 3-pointers in the FIBA Americas U-18 Championships. Rivers isn't just an outside shoot either- he has a deceptively quick first step and very good ball-handling skills to get to the rim or initiate the offense.
Bradley Beal- Florida, Freshman
Beal, like his classmate Rivers, is an outstanding outside shooter that should be amongst the top five or ten shooters in college basketball next season. Beal's 6'4" size will allow him to play alongside two undersized Gator guards in Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker and new Florida teammate Mike Rosario and should create matchup problems for opposing teams. He is equally as dangerous from behind the arc as he is from the mid-range in both spot-up situations and knocking down shots off the dribble.
Jeremy Lamb- UConn, Sophomore
After a slow start to his career, Lamb emerged as a star in the postseason, scoring 24 points against San Diego State in the Sweet 16 and 19 points against Arizona to push the Huskies into the Final Four. After hitting the double-figure scoring mark just five times in the first 15 games of the season, Lamb scored 10+ points in 20 of his final 26 games en route to a national title. This year could make or break Lamb's stock as classmate Shabazz Napier takes over at point guard and has the job of setting up Lamb in the mid-range.
Terrence Ross- Washington, Sophomore
Ross is one of the hottest names in the country this offseason; Washington will need to replace a bulk of the scoring load after losing Isaiah Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaing and Ross is the likely recipient of this action. Point guard Abdul Gaddy returns from injury and could start alongside freshman Tony Wroten Jr. to create the ultimate shot-creating backcourt to set up Ross. He has the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter with deep range or attack the rim with his lanky frame and athleticism.
Doron Lamb- Kentucky, Sophomore
Could it be that one of the top 2-guards in the country won't even start for his team this year? Lamb doesn't appear slated to crack the starting lineup for the Wildcats, but with his ability to knock down perimeter shots from behind the arc or in the mid-range and also his ball handling, he will be assured plenty of minutes. Although his NBA future is limited by his size as he is a bit undersized, but he has solid length to help combat that.