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NBA-bound Michael Carter-Williams gives Kansas' Ben McLemore front-runner status as top draft pick

On the day that Syracuse sophomore Michael Carter-Williams declared for the NBA draft, he said that Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore is currently the No. 1 pick. The 6-foot-6 Orange point guard hopes to vault himself to the top spot in the minds of NBA general managers once he starts working out for teams.

"If I go in the pre-draft camp and kill it and do the things I know I can do, I don't see why not," Carter-Williams told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday.

Carter-Williams averaged 11.9 points this past season, ranking fifth nationally in assists (7.3) and fourth in steals (2.78). Prior to the Big East Conference tournament he wasn't committed on entering the draft. But his big games during the NCAA tournament, including a season-best, 24-point performance in Syracuse's Sweet 16 upset of Indiana, raised his stock and ultimately made his decision to leave school easy.

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Michael Carter-Williams is leaving Syracuse for the NBA. (USA Today Sports)

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"His size for position, vision and ability to deliver the ball will get him drafted in the lottery," one NBA general manager said.

Carter-Williams leaves Syracuse with a school record 111 steals in a season and 292 assists, the second-highest in Orange history behind Sherman Douglas.

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DraftExpress.com currently has Carter-Williams listed as the 12th overall selection. Carter-Williams sees himself as a top-five pick now, and believes he can be a better pro than college player due to his ability to get in the lane that is often crowded in college by zone defenses.

"With my size and length I can affect the game in a lot of ways," Carter-Williams said. "My IQ for the game is very high. I think that will help me out a lot."

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