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2012 NBA Draft: Our Locks and Hopes for Thursday Night

If Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn is taken in the first round, I hope he finds a way to do this to David Stern the first time he sees him.
If Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn is taken in the first round, I hope he finds a way to do this to David Stern the first time he sees him.

The NBA Draft will begin in the a few hours and there is little doubt that Kentucky's Anthony Davis will be selected as the No. 1 pick. Unless New Orleans decides to do something crazy -- and about the only thing that could stop them at this point is not showing up -- this is the only given on the board.

For the last few weeks, we have profiled 19 players in depth, many of whom would be a surprise to be taken in even the second round of the draft.

Most of those 19, along with the extra five guys we gave you on Wednesday, will be headed to NBA camps though to give one last shot at making it here in the NBA. I would expect a number of them will still end up in Europe, because the talent we talked about is too good to just stop playing.

At this point, I am not sure there can be much more analysis given to the Draft (although many will try), but here are my final thoughts on what will take place Thursday night:

The Givens:

1. Weber State's Damian Lillard will be taken at some point in the first 10 picks: Brett's profile of the college combo guard started our previews off on the right foot. There is no player from the mid-major ranks with more draft potential than Lillard. In the latest mock drafts, he is going as high as No. 6 to Portland, and there is no way he slips past the Hornets' second pick at No. 10.

2. Memphis' Will Barton is a lock for the first round: Based on the latest mock from ESPN's Chad Ford, and the reports that Dr. Geeves brought to you, Barton seems to be destined for a first round selection. At worst he is headed to the Bulls at No. 29. Ford thinks he could go as high as No. 26 to the Pacers. (Our profile)

3. Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn will be the first mid-major center taken: Based on everything that I have seen on the court, O'Quinn is the most NBA ready center of the mid-major bunch. The other guys either have holes in their inside game, or lack the strength to contend with the bigger players in the middle. I am not sure he has the chops to be taken in the first round, but there have been bigger surprises in the Draft.

The Hopes:

1. Jet Chang gets drafted: I am not sure you could do more for a player's draft stock than Dr. Geeves did, unless you played them one-on-one and got crushed. In the days following our profile of the BYU-Hawaii guard, Chang jumped up Top 100 lists. He isn't quite breaking into that top 60 range where his draft would be a given, but he moved. We can't take all the credit for this, but we will take some.

2. Scott Machado gets drafted. ESPN cuts to a shot of Doug Gottlieb crying tears of joy.

3. There is a run on mid-major players at the back end of the second round. Jay Bilas turns beet red.

4. Someone from our next 5 guys (let's say Oakland's Reggie Hamilton) gets drafted shocking every analyst sitting on set. Someone pulls up Mid-Major Madness to assess player value.

5. Dr. Geeves does it again, gets Cameron Moore drafted: If Geeves can't help Chang because he was buried too far down draft lists, he can certainly help UAB's Cameron Moore. At least he tried his darndest to do so. Moore sneaks into Ford's last mock at the No. 58 pick, and I have a feeling there will quite a few IMs from the Doctor should he be taken even a few spots higher.

So give me your final thoughts on the draft prior. We will have an open thread later this evening to watch for our favorite mid-major players.