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Wednesday November 30, -0001 Freshman Bradley Beal finding his game; NBA scouts already knew he had one

Updated: 6:44pm, February 1

Bradley Beal

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Remember all that talk about Bradley Beal struggling in road games and approaching the freshman wall?

Neither do I.

Nor does Beal or apparently the NBA folks watching this very pro-ready-looking swingman now well into the second half of his rookie college season.

Check out the stats. Heading into 12th-ranked Florida’s home game Thursday against South Carolina, Beal is leading the team in scoring in Southeastern Conference play at 13.2 points per game, making 49 percent of his shots, 44 percent from 3-point range and 85.7 from the free-throw line in those games.

“Brad’s starting to figure some things out,” said Florida coach Billy Donovan, who is just as quick to point out that Beal has grabbed two offensive rebounds against SEC comp. “He’s got some work to do still, but that other [NBA] stuff isn’t going to affect him. He’s got a good head on his shoulders.”

As such, said head is not spinning up into the clouds of expectation as mock NBA drafts start trickling out across the Internet. All have very flattering projections for Beal, the 6-foot-6, 207-pounder from St. Louis not even a year removed from being crowned Gatorade's National Player of the Year.

“I’m not worried about any of that right now,” Beal said. “That’s all great and all, but really my focus is on this season and helping this team.”

Most mock drafts have both Beal and sophomore center Patric Young going in the first round, with Beal a lottery pick. Bleacher Report has Beal selected 10th by Phoenix. NBADraft.net, my favorite site for this info, has Beal going eighth to Sacramento. My NBADraft.com puts Beal ninth to Utah.

The majority of the mocks have Young going somewhere in the 20s, but DraftExpress has the 6-foot-9, 247-pounder the last pick in the lottery, going 16th to Cleveland.

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