120403NextCats.jpg
Apr 232014
 
Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

Julius Randle is leaving and Alex Poythress is staying.

That leaves the Harrison twins and Dakari Johnson as the only Wildcats who had not yet announced their NBA decisions as of Wednesday afternoon.

ESPN analyst Chad Ford said during his weekly chat Wednesday that all three players would be “borderline” first-round picks if they entered this year’s draft, but he didn’t paint a very rosy picture of Andrew and Aaron Harrisons’ immediate futures if they leave UK right now.

Continue reading »

Share
Apr 222014
 
Julius Randle

Julius Randle

UK freshman Julius Randle announced Tuesday that he will enter the NBA Draft after one season in Lexington.

The news was expected, and Randle joined fellow freshman James Young as the only two UK underclassmen who have declared for the draft. They’re also the only two UK players who were included in Chad Ford’s latest mock draft, which was released on ESPN.com Tuesday morning.

Ford projects that Randle will go with the No. 6 overall pick to the Los Angeles Lakers and Young will head to the Atlanta Hawks at No. 15 overall.

Continue reading »

Share
Apr 162014
 
Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

ESPN analyst Chad Ford was chatting about the upcoming NBA Draft again Wednesday. Like always, questions about Kentucky’s underclassmen came up.

Of UK’s seven most likely draft picks, only the returning Willie Cauley-Stein has publicly announced his plans. Everyone expects Julius Randle to move on to the NBA this year — though he hasn’t declared for the draft yet.

Ford broke down the other five during Wednesday’s chat:

“Think James Young is very likely to leave for the draft. I think the two most likely to stay are Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress though I wonder if Cauley-Stein’s decision to stay may push Johnson out. With Karl Towns coming in (and Towns may be the most talented of all of them) there could be playing time issues. As for the Harrison twins, they’ve wanted to go to the NBA all season. I know they’ve been talking to agents and trying to figure things out. The challenge for them is that the feedback from the NBA hasn’t been what they want to hear — even with their strong play in the tournament. If they want guarantees they are first round picks, not sure either will get it. So … it might push them to come back. I think they could really help their stock if they played one more year in Lexington.”

Continue reading »

Share
Apr 142014
 

UK center Willie Cauley-Stein announced Monday night that he will hold off on the NBA and return to Lexington for his junior season.

“I want to come back and have a chance to win a national championship, while also getting closer to earning my degree,” Cauley-Stein said in a statement made through UK. “Being at the Final Four this year was special, but not being able to help my teammates on the floor was tough. I look forward to helping us get back there next year, while playing in front of the best fans in the nation.”

Cauley-Stein was projected as the No. 12 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, according to DraftExpress.com. He averaged 6.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and blocked 106 shots in 37 games this past season. He has 166 blocks in two seasons at Kentucky, good enough for sixth all-time in the program’s history.

Continue reading »

Share
Apr 092014
 
Julius Randle

Julius Randle

ESPN analyst Chad Ford was chatting about the NBA Draft over on ESPN.com Wednesday, and he brought up the rumblings that UK might lose more players than expected before next season.

Ford was asked who he thought would leave the Cats for the NBA:

“Julius Randle and James Young are, for sure, gone. I would say Willie Cauley-Stein too, but his comments the other day indicated he might not be a sure thing to leave. The Harrison twins have wanted to leave all year according to multiple sources around the twins, but their draft stock made them iffy first rounders. While they improved their stock, I’m not sure it’s to the point that they are clear first rounders. Andrew probably has the most claim, but he’s not a lock. Another year at Kentucky would help. Dakari Johnson would be a bubble first rounder as well. Ditto for Poythress. I think there’s a chance ALL of them are gone. There are certainly rumblings that direction. But the only three that really make sense right now are Randle, Young and Cauley-Stein.”

Continue reading »

Share

New NBA mock draft: Still no Harrison twins

 Posted by at 1:19 PM on March 17, 2014  1 Response »
Mar 172014
 
Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

The improved play of Andrew and Aaron Harrison over the weekend did nothing to change their NBA Draft status, according to DraftExpress.com.

The website’s 2014 mock draft was updated Monday, and Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein and James Young remain the only three Wildcats projected to go this year. All three are considered first-round picks.

DraftExpress.com ranks Aaron Harrison as the No. 60 overall NBA prospect, with Andrew Harrison at No. 63. There are 60 total picks in the draft. That means the analysts behind DraftExpress are not predicting the Harrisons to enter this year.

Continue reading »

Share
Mar 122014
 
James Young

James Young

Just about every recent mock draft has included the same three UK players as probabilities to head to the NBA after this season.

Sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein and freshmen Julius Randle and James Young are widely projected as first-round picks later this year, but they’re the only Wildcats who are currently listed by the major draft websites.

In his Wednesday chat for ESPN.com
, analyst Chad Ford said he expects a larger contingent of UK players to pop up on draft night. Here’s what Ford had to say in response to a question asking who will come back to Lexington:

Continue reading »

Share
Mar 102014
 
Alex Poythress

Alex Poythress

One of the top NBA Draft websites updated its mock draft for 2014 on Monday, and UK sophomore Alex Poythress is no longer listed.

Draft Express had Poythress pegged as the No. 36 overall pick last week. The only Wildcats listed in Monday’s update were Julius Randle (No. 4), Willie Cauley-Stein (No. 12) and James Young (No. 24).

Poythress was included in the Draft Express “Top 100 prospects” list, which includes all draft-eligible players regardless of whether NBA observers believe they will actually enter this year’s draft. Poythress is No. 55 on that list. UK freshmen Aaron Harrison (No. 56) and Andrew Harrison (No. 59) also made the Top 100 list but were not included in the mock draft. There are 60 total picks in the NBA Draft.

UK freshman Dakari Johnson was not listed among the Top 100 draft-eligible prospects.

DraftExpress.com: Complete mock draft | Top 100 prospects

Share
Mar 052014
 
Julius Randle

Julius Randle

Two of the most-respected NBA Draft analysts on the web released updated mock drafts Wednesday, and both had the same three Wildcats going in the first round.

ESPN’s Chad Ford and DraftExpress.com’s Jonathan Givony have UK’s Julius Randle, James Young and Willie Cauley-Stein pegged as first-round selections. Ford projects Randle as the No. 6 overall pick, with Young at No. 9 and Cauley-Stein at No. 21. DraftExpress has Randle at No. 4, Cauley-Stein at No. 14 and Young at No. 23.

DraftExpress.com also projects UK sophomore Alex Poythress as a second-round selection at No. 36 overall. Ford’s new mock draft did not include second-round picks.

Continue reading »

Share
Feb 122014
 
Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford held another live chat Wednesday, one day after releasing his latest Big Board for 2014.

Ford answered one question from a reader wondering which Kentucky players would return for next season. His response:

“Randle and Young look like they’re gone. Hearing both the Harrison twins also want to declare (though their current draft stock may scare them back into school). Cauley-Stein and Poythress are both wildcards. Ditto for Dakari Johnson.”

It’s worth noting that neither of the Harrison twins have shown up in three of the most recent draft predictors from national outlets, including Ford’s latest update to his Big Board on Tuesday. It’s also worth noting that it would not be a surprise if both players did leave for the NBA after this season, despite what John Calipari has said recently.

Continue reading »

Share