Apr 132015
 
Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns

Kentucky could produce the No. 1 overall picks in the next two NBA Drafts.

DraftExpress.com updated its Top 100 list for this year’s draft and posted a new mock draft for 2016 after covering this past weekend’s Nike Hoop Summit in Oregon.

Karl-Anthony Towns remains the No. 1 player on the 2015 list, and incoming freshman Skal Labissiere is still projected as the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, a position he earned with his strong play leading up to the Hoop Summit.

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Apr 122015
 
Alex Poythress (in white) walked onto the practice court with the seven UK players who declared for the NBA Draft on Thursday. Photo: Charles Bertram/Herald-Leader

Alex Poythress (in white) walked onto the Joe Craft Center practice court with the seven UK players who declared for the NBA Draft on Thursday.
Photo: Charles Bertram/Herald-Leader

Seven UK basketball players declared for the NBA Draft on Thursday, but Coach John Calipari said during the press conference that it would have been eight if not for the season-ending knee injury suffered by junior Alex Poythress.

It still could be eight, apparently.

Calipari said Thursday that Poythress has received feedback from NBA teams on his stock for this year’s draft, and he planned to go home to Tennessee and discuss the decision with his family.

Fellow junior Willie Cauley-Stein was in the same position as Poythress this time last year. Cauley-Stein’s season was cut short by an injury, and he decided to come back to school for one more run. He’s now considered a top-10 pick for this year’s NBA Draft.

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Apr 082015
 
Andrew Harrison

Andrew Harrison

ESPN analyst Chad Ford held his weekly NBA Draft chat Wednesday, and Kentucky was a hot topic.

One of the first questions was related to Aaron and Andrew Harrison, who are expected to announce their decision to enter the NBA Draft during a press conference scheduled for Thursday.

“I don’t think that’s a surprise to anyone,” Ford said. “They seriously considered leaving last year before having a change of heart right before the deadline. This year didn’t do them any favors and with Coach Cal already saying this is Tyler Ulis’s team next year, the writing was on the wall. Andrew Harrison probably gets drafted. I doubt it’s in the first round like Coach Cal believes. If he does, then there are teams out there that have secretly loved him all year and have kept it super quiet. Aaron struggled to shoot it with accuracy all year. It’s the only thing he really brings to the table from an NBA standpoint. I think he’s second round to undrafted. And after the second half of the title game, when both twins went into hero ball mode, whatever good they did earlier in the tournament was erased. The lasting memory is of airballs and shot clock violations and the inability to get it to Karl Anthony Towns.”

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Apr 082015
 
Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns

Four Kentucky players are listed as first-round selections in the latest ESPN Big Board for this year’s NBA Draft.

UK freshman Karl-Anthony Towns has taken over the No. 1 spot from Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor. “In virtually every scenario on our Lottery Mock Draft, Towns is now going No. 1,” wrote ESPN’s Chad Ford.

Willie Cauley-Stein is No. 7 on the new Big Board, followed by UK teammates Trey Lyles (No. 18) and Devin Booker (No. 19). Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison and Dakari Johnson are not listed in the top 30, nor the “Next five in” category that follows.

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Apr 072015
 
Dakari Johnson

Dakari Johnson

Decisions, decisions.

There will be plenty made in the next few weeks that affect the University of Kentucky basketball program for the 2015-16 season and beyond.

The Cats are expected to lose several players from this season’s 38-1 team, but Coach John Calipari could add two or three more recruits from the talented pool of five-star prospects still thinking about their futures.

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Apr 062015
 
Willie Cauley-Stein

Willie Cauley-Stein

This year’s deadline for early entries into the NBA Draft is April 26, but the UK players contemplating the jump are likely to announce their intentions before that date.

Those players will meet with UK Coach John Calipari and their families over the next few days, and announcements could start trickling out at any time.

Here’s a quick look at when last season’s Wildcats revealed their future plans:

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Apr 062015
 
Trey Lyles

Trey Lyles

UK Coach John Calipari spoke to a group of reporters Monday after the announcement that he is to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame later this year.

Calipari said Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison and Trey Lyles are all likely to enter the NBA Draft. He also said he would be “surprised” if the twins aren’t both first-round picks, despite their standing in current mock drafts.

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Apr 052015
 
Devin Booker

Devin Booker

The UK basketball roster is guaranteed to look a lot different next season, and the next few weeks should be full of announcements from current Wildcats and the top high school seniors being recruited by Coach John Calipari.

The Cats could lose more than a half-dozen players to the NBA Draft. The program also is expected to compete for another No. 1-ranked recruiting class.

Below is a detailed look at what next season’s team could look like, with notes on returning players, probable draft picks and incoming recruits. This chart lists only those who were recruited as scholarship players (and keep in mind that UK can have as many as 13 players on scholarship). The “class” designation represents what each player would be in the 2015-16 season.

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Apr 032015
 
John Calipari

John Calipari

INDIANAPOLIS — UK Coach John Calipari was once again asked about the NBA’s “one-and-done” rule Friday from the Final Four, a common question for him this time of year.

This time, he was asked why he thinks he’s the “lightning rod” for critics of the rule. His response:

“I don’t know. But it’s not my rule. It’s the NBA and the Players’ Association. Now, what we need to do is control what we can control as far as the NCAA and college basketball, which means don’t put up roadblocks that encourage kids to leave if they’re not ready. Don’t have them pay for their own disability insurance. ‘I know I got a $50,000 debt. If I stay another year it’s $100,000.’ Don’t do that to him. If a kid chooses to stay because he really loves college, but if he’s worried about his draft position moving drastically, maybe the NBA should pay for their loss of value insurance. If you really want to stay, stay.

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Mar 292015
 
Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns

There’s a new No. 1 on the DraftExpress.com board for this year’s NBA Draft.

UK freshman Karl-Anthony Towns passed Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor for the top spot Sunday. The latest update by DraftExpress.com came a day after Towns scored 25 points — 17 in the second half — to lead UK past Notre Dame for a spot in the Final Four.

Okafor and Duke will also be in the Final Four after defeating Gonzaga on Sunday.

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