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Barnes, Kidd-Gilchrist continue battle

Updated: January 31, 2012, 1:38 PM ET
By Chad Ford

We are about a month away from the end of the college basketball regular season, and while things still remain solid at the very top for Kentucky's Anthony Davis, the rest of the Top 5 remains very much in flux.

A quick look around the league shows five other players -- North Carolina's Harrison Barnes, UConn's Andre Drummond, Kansas' Thomas Robinson, Baylor's Perry Jones and Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist -- in contention for the No. 2 spot in the draft.

Of the group, Kidd-Gilchrist is the most recent to make the jump into the Top 5. We've been singing his praises all year, and it looks like a number of general managers are getting on board with the idea of Kidd-Gilchrist as a top pick in the draft.

As we've noted before, Kidd-Gilchrist is in direct contention with Barnes for the distinction of the top wing off the board. Barnes continues to prove he can put the ball in the basket. He had 27 points against Virginia Tech and 23 versus Georgia Tech in the past week. Barnes' 3-point shooting remains a sizzling 45 percent for the season. Though his rebounding and assist numbers continue to be weak, Barnes looks more and more like a sure thing with his scoring ability.

Kidd-Gilchrist goes the opposite way. His shooting and scoring numbers don't wow scouts, but he does all the other little things that Barnes doesn't to put his team over the top. The two have gone head-to-head both in high school and earlier this year in Kentucky, and Kidd-Gilchrist looked better. It will be interesting to see whether they'll agree to workouts against each other during the draft process.

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