ESPN analyst: 4 UK freshmen still lottery possibilities

 Posted by at 3:13 PM on January 23, 2013
Jan 232013

Another inconsistent night from UK’s young lineup Tuesday at Alabama led to more questions about those players’ draft stock after this season.

The consensus among the latest mock drafts is that Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and possibly Willie Cauley-Stein will leave Kentucky after one season.

In an online chat Wednesday, ESPN analyst Chad Ford said nothing has changed with those projections.

Question: Any chance that Kentucky’s supposed awesome group of Freshmen stay in Lexington one more year?

Chad Ford: Nerlens Noel has played well enough to move on. I don’t think there’s any way he’s not a Top 5 pick. Poythress and Goodwin are struggling. Cauley-Stein is a talent, but he’s even further away. If this was a strong draft (and if Kentucky didn’t have a historic recruiting class coming) I think there would be a strong case for Poythress, Goodwin and Cauley-Stein to stay in school. But given the weakness of this draft, all three still have a good shot at the lottery and most players bolt if that’s their draft range.

You can click here to read Ford’s entire chat, which includes several questions about this year’s NBA Draft.

Ford currently has all four freshmen as first-round caliber picks: 1. Nerlens Noel, 10. Alex Poythress, 11. Archie Goodwin, 24. Willie Cauley-Stein. He ranks Ryan Harrow at No. 80 in his Top 100.


  11 Responses to “ESPN analyst: 4 UK freshmen still lottery possibilities”

  1. I have to say that this is totally ridiculous. So it’s no longer about college programs winning, aka Kentucky, It’s about getting the all mighty buck from the NBA. Unreal! I’m just hoping that enough people in the right places will say this is not right and do something about it. Players should be around for at least three years in any given collegiate program. It’s you, the media, that’s also putting the NBA bucks in the heads of these young players. So much so, that it interferes with their team effort. They want to play for the agents and media, not for the team. This must change or college basketball will be lost.


  2. Nelens Noel is the only lottery pick on this team. The rest cannot win games against Texas AM and Alabama and many other teams, how in the tar are they gonna contribute against the Los Angeles Lakers? They will lose 12-13 games this year.
    If the NBA wants to hire these kids fine, but they are not qualified at this time. Only Noel is. Maybe we need to recruit kids like Pelfrey, Feldhaus, Farmer and Woods who played with heart. They may not have been NBA material, but they played with Kentucky heart. These guys do not!

  3. Note to Monte: College basketball is lost…and has been since about 1992 when Jamal Mashburn bailed as a sophomore. Forget it. Forget the NBA, which has no soul. If you like basketball in Kentucky, go out and watch (and support) your local high school team.

  4. Last time I checked, stadiums and arena’s are being sold out, ESPN and CBS want to broadcast big games, and people care more about college basketball opposed to the NBA. Honestly, Noel is going to go. Poythress and Goodwin could also go, based off of potential. But if they really want to become Top 5 material, they will be joining a heck of a recruiting class for next year. In fact, if Goodwin, Poythress, and Willie come back, I got us winning it all. We would be deep, have some experience with Wiltjer whose been coming on as of late and also the sophmores, and then have these talented freshman. Our problem this year is turnovers and also defense. Outside of Noel and Willie, we don’t have a shut down defender. Guards eat us up, as it showed in A & M and Bama. Noel should be the only MAN leaving, and we will survive him going. And last time I checked, when Knight was the only one to leave Freshman year, we had a great class that came in and won it all for us.

  5. I went to the game last night Goodwin and poythress are AWFUL!!!!!!!

  6. The U.S. is a free-market system. Nobody; college “kids” included should be prevented from marketing their skills whenever they choose so long as they are of legal age to do so. Don’t try to put college players going pro in any different category than anyone else pursuing a career. So far as this years team….. players haven’t embraced their roles (primarily Goodwin and Poythress) and unless they do we’ll be run-of-the-pack. If Cal does get everyone to buy in maybe we’ll make the tourney and have a little success. About all any realist can hope for this season.

  7. Mashburn left as a Junior and I don’t blame these kids one bit for leaving as long as the current system stays in place. You’re are almost punished for staying in college too long these days. Would all of these kids be better with at least 2 years of college? Yes but that’s not reality right now. I would actually call Goodwin and Poythress foolish for coming back if they’re lottery picks. Get paid lottery pick $ and head to the D league still pays quite a bit more than staying in college and they would be fools for passing on several million $.
    Having said all that, UK is struggling because they have no real experience and Goodwin/Poythress have not lived up to expectations. Maybe they weren’t as good as advertised. It happens.

  8. I agree that Noel is the only one that is ready for the jump to the NBA. Just a correction on Ralph’s statement, Jamal Mashburn left after his junior year in 1993 after KY was beaten by Michigan in the Final Four.

  9. Here’s the problem: The NCAA\NBA partership is about money. Nothing more. look at the overall state of college baskwtball and nothing is static like it was say 20 years ago. These kids come to a school, for a year, many becasue they HAVE TO, then move to the pros. And i understand the business of it all, but many of them are NOT ready. Look at players like Tim Duncan (last of his breed) a guy who could have come out early, but chose not to. When he came out- he was READY! No one is telling these kids this anymore. Stay another year, improve your game, then cash in. These kids are taking off hoping they can learn as they go. A recipe for disaster.

  10. here is the way I see it is that both staying in college and getting to NBA have its perks in NBA you get payed while with staying in school you get better but there are disadvantages to for both
    staying in school:the chance you could to be injured so you never go pro if you stay
    NBA:you lose the chance to get better
    so i dont blame them some of there families dont have very much money and that could persuade them to go but if there not then they should stay
    I even say myself and so does my DAD that if I was in their situation I go pro because i would not want to get hurt and lose my chance to ever go pro but then again it hurts both the player and NCAAby going pro

  11. Face are upset because you love your team and the sport. Don’t blame the kids. I’d bet all I own that if you could change jobs today and get a big raise, let alone millions, you would have zero loyalty to your employer. Enjoy what college ball is as it will not change drastically.

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