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Potential NBA lottery picks Shabazz Muhammad, Otto Porter and Ben McLemore are in action on Friday in the 2013 NCAA tournament.
The second round of NCAA tournament action involves a number of NBA Draft prospects, and perhaps no storyline from that perspective is more interesting on Friday than the performances of Shabazz Muhammad of the UCLA Bruins and Kansas Jayhawks guard Ben McLemore. Those two are hoping to be the first perimeter player picked in the 2013 NBA Draft, and each are in action on the second day of the round of 64.
No. 2 Georgetown vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast, 6:50 pm ET, TBS
Otto Porter - Sophomore - Georgetown: It's usually a safe bet that the Big East Player of the Year is going to be a lottery pick and if Porter decides to leave campus early, he should have no problem going in the lottery. While some might claim he's a little too thin, that hasn't stopped him from making consistent contributions in literally every aspect of the game. Porter averages 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game all while shooting 48.9 percent from downtown. Porter enters the tournament riding a 18-game double digit scoring streak and he should no problem doing the same Friday even against an Eagles defense that held the Hurricanes to 51 points earlier this season.
No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 11 Minnesota, 9:57 pm ET, Tru TV
Shabazz Muhammad - Freshman - UCLA: Muhammad has been a lighting rod for criticism this season but he could silence the nation if he's able to bring the Bruins to their third final four in the last seven years. Of course, he'll have to do it without the help of fellow swingman Jordan Adams, who broke his right foot in the Pac-12 tournament. If Muhammad is able to elevate his game and show some much-needed leadership qualities in Adams' absence, there's still a chance he goes in the top-three of the draft. But it won't be an easy task against a hard-nosed Gophers squad that will surely be happy to see a non-Big-10 opponent for a change.
No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 16 James Madison, 4:10 p.m. ET, TBS
Victor Oladipo - Junior - Indiana: How Oladipo goes the Hoosiers go. The junior guard sets the tone for Tom Crean's Indiana squad, and his rise into the lottery stems from his all-around basketball skillset. He's neither a pure scorer nor only a lockdown defender. The 6'5, 214 pound guard is an elite athlete, using his length to disrupt offenses, grab key offensive boards and push Indiana to highlight reel fastbreak opportunities -- often off turnovers that he forces. Oladipo averages 13.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game to go with 2.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
Cody Zeller - Sophomore - Indiana: Likely a top-five draft choice, the youngest of three Zeller brothers might be the best yet. At 7'0, 240 pounds, Zeller could use to add more weight to his frame, but as is he proves to be a talented rebounder and inside presence for the Hoosiers. He doesn't force the issue on a balanced Indiana squad, but he should be able to both dominate the boards and run the floor to get easy buckets. Zeller is averaging 16.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting an efficient 57.3 percent from the floor.
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Western Kentucky, 9:50 p.m. ET, TNT
Ben McLemore - Freshman - Kansas: One of the best scoring wings that should be available in the upcoming NBA Draft, McLemore is seemingly in a struggle with Shabazz Muhammad to be selected with the pick behind, presumably, Nerlens Noel of Kentucky. The 6'5, 185 pound guard is coming off a lackluster Big 12 Championship game against Kansas State where he scored five points. Though he uses his athleticism to score in the open court, McLemore is currently holding off Muhammad from a draft perspective, but that is at risk if the UCLA swingman grasps his opportunity to be the focal point with Jordan Adams sidelined.
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Albany, 12:15 p.m. ET, CBS
Mason Plumlee - Senior - Duke: A freakish athlete with good length, Plumlee finds himself as a lottery selection perhaps because of the lack of sure-fire prospects in the draft. Nevertheless, he has the tools to be an NBA contributor despite a lack of a defined offensive game. Plumlee is a 6'11, 235 big man who averages 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He takes what he's given, scoring on 59.2 percent of his attempts, and he also gets to the foul stripe at a high rate of 7.3 times per game.
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