ESPN has once again updated its Top 100 player rankings for this year’s NBA Draft, and UK freshman Tyler Herro keeps moving in the right direction.
Herro is now the No. 27 overall player on ESPN’s board — placing him in late-first round territory. He has moved up five spots since ESPN’s most recent mock draft a little more than two weeks ago. Herro was No. 40 overall the last time the Top 100 rankings were updated in mid-January.
The other UK player with the most interesting postseason decision to make will be freshman guard Ashton Hagans, who is No. 40 in ESPN’s new rankings. That’s 10 spots outside of the first round, though there’s obviously plenty of time for Hagans to keep moving toward that draft range.
Underclassmen Keldon Johnson (No. 12) and PJ Washington (No. 13) are both ranked in lottery range by ESPN, and both UK players are widely expected to turn pro after this season. The Cats will also lose graduate student Reid Travis, who is not on ESPN’s top 100 list.
The stay-or-go decisions made by Hagans and Herro — and possibly center Nick Richards, who turns 22 years old later this year — will affect how the Cats try to finish out the 2019 recruiting cycle. Other than the aforementioned players, the only other scholarship Wildcats are Jemarl Baker, Immanuel Quickley and EJ Montgomery. UK has early commitments from five-star point guard Tyrese Maxey, and highly touted wings Kahlil Whitney and Dontaie Allen.