2012 NBA Draft: Meyers Leonard Has Goal To Be A Lottery Pick

Illinois Fighting Illini center Meyers Leonard declared for the 2012 NBA Draft after the conclusion of his sophomore season with the Illni, and now he is focused on making that move pay off. NBA teams are always looking for another solid big man, so it's up to Leonard to prove he's a more attractive option than North Carolina center Tyler Zeller after Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond are both selected early in the first round.

Leonard is projected as the No. 14 pick in Tom Ziller's latest 2012 NBA Mock Draft, but he told Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com that he is focused on the workouts and that he doesn't pay attention to internet trends:

"The ultimate goal is to be lottery pick. I've just been working really hard to make myself a top pick. I don't pay attention to online boards. It's useless to me. It comes down to who trains the hardest and wants it the most."

He's been putting in work on ball handling, extending his range and developing face-up moves in the offseason, so it will be interesting to see how teams compare him to Zeller heading into the draft.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of Illini basketball, head over to Hail to the Orange. And for more from around the world of college hoops, check out SB Nation's NCAA basketball news hub.

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