NBA analyst: Noel returns to No. 1 on draft board

 Posted by at 1:59 PM on March 26, 2013
Mar 262013
Will Alex Poythress, left, and/or Archie Goodwin, center, enter the NBA Draft? ESPN

Will Alex Poythress, left, and/or Archie Goodwin, center, enter the NBA Draft? ESPN’s Chad Ford says they should stay at Kentucky.
Photo: Mark Cornelison/Herald-Leader

ESPN analyst Chad Ford moved Kentucky center Nerlens Noel back to No. 1 on his NBA Draft Big Board on Tuesday. His advice for the other three UK freshmen: Stay in school.

Noel had fallen from the No. 1 spot on Ford’s list after his season-ending knee injury at Florida. He was No. 2 after the latest update, but the UK big man jumped Kansas guard Ben McLemore to reclaim the No. 1 spot.

Ford wrote of his decision to return Noel to No. 1: “After a weekend of talking to NBA decision-makers, it sounds like most of them are now leaning that direction.”

Other UK players on ESPN’s board were Willie Cauley-Stein (18th), Alex Poythress (20th) and Archie Goodwin (21st). All three freshmen had dropped in position from the previous update.

Later in a chat for, Ford said Cauley-Stein, Poythress and Goodwin would be better served by returning to Kentucky for their sophomore seasons:

Question: What are the Kentucky freshmen going to do? They have to leave, right? No PT next year, really.

Ford: Don’t know. They all are saying they’re staying. Willie Cauley-Stein will likely be a starter. Poythress and Goodwin are the ones that have to worry about losing their starting job. But coming off the bench won’t kill their stock. In fact, it might help it. I hope they all go back to school. None of them are close to being ready for the NBA.

No UK players have publicly announced their plans for next season. UK released a statement late Monday night that said, “Any information on the 2013-14 UK men’s basketball roster is only speculation. No decisions have been made on players with eligibility remaining, which includes decisions on declaring for the NBA draft.”

The NBA Draft will be held June 27. has a good rundown of the important dates for underclassmen who are considering going pro.


  8 Responses to “NBA analyst: Noel returns to No. 1 on draft board”

  1. I hope they all get and listen to the people that really know what is going on and not people like most AAU coaches and the other leeches out there. Best wishes to all of hem no matter what choice they make.

  2. They need to pay attention to what Cal says in their meetings this week and take his words to heart. If I could tell all the freshmen 1 thing it would be to not to listen to all of the $ grubbers and make sure the decision you make is truly the best for you and your family.

  3. Cal: come to your senses and offer the last scholly to Hawkins. A prime-time guard that will be around for 2, 3, maybe 4 years and bleeds Blue. Let Wiggins go to Fla.State…too many all-Americans already and he’d be here for one year and gone. We can win with kids like Dominique.

  4. Ray, I think since Cal has already offered to Wiggins and Gordon he has to wait until they formally reject before he can offer that scholarship to another athlete. But I agree with you in principle, especially since we got Randle. Go CATS!

  5. I’m not a coach and like some who think they know more the the KY coaches, this time I have to agree with Ray Peden. No bench this year is what hurt. I look back at those ’96-’98 teams and how everyone could play and it was full force from start to end. The “one and done” stops that now but look at what Cal did with last year’s team. Those guys bought into a system and they didn’t care about stats, it was just WIN for the team.

  6. Um are you guys serious? Let the best high school basketball player since Lebron go somewhere else if we have the option of getting him? Give me a break Hawkins is good but not great, the quality of teams other than UK recruiting him speaks volumes about his talent, he may be the best in state player but that’s not saying much given the talent level in the state.

    You are looking at a guaranteed national title with Wiggins, compared to getting a guy who may or may not amout to more than a Brandon Stockton or Jon Hood. Cal knows what he is doing

  7. I believe Cal will have scholarships available for both AW and DH, provided they both want to come play for UK.

  8. “The “one and done” stops that now but look at what Cal did with last year’s team. Those guys.”

    No, look at what Miller, Lamb, Jones, 3 freshmen and Polson did last year.

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