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April 8, 2015BasketballKentucky Wildcats 7 Go to NBA Draft

Kentucky Wildcats

April 8, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)

Kentucky Wildcats: Reasons to Stay or Go Pro

John Calipari stated on his last call in show of the season that he expects to see six to seven players from the 2014-2015 Kentucky roster to pass up another year of eligibility to turn pro.  Each year Calipari will wait until the end of the season to call his NBA connects to see what the potential draft status is for each player on his team.  He will then share that information with his players to allow them to have conversations with their families to make a decision on their future. John Calipari does not influence his players decision one way or the other. Everyone has an opinion about why certain Kentucky players should go pro or stay in school for another year, so I decided to write a blog about the potential seven that my decide to leave school for the NBA. FYI, I do not have any clue whether a player from Kentucky will leave for the NBA or stay in school for another year, so this will be based off of my informed opinion on whether a player should stay or not without any inside information.

Dakari Johnson:

Dakari Johnson

Dakari Johnson

Should he stay or go? – Word is Dakari does not have any interest in staying in school, so it’s being reported that he will really like to enter the NBA draft by the end of the week. If that is the case other scenarios on why he should leave or stay is irrelevant. For the sake of hypothetical purposes keep reading, Dakari played in all 39 games this season and he averaged 6.4 points and 4.6 rebounds while averaging 16 minutes per game.  This was up from his freshman year totals of averaging 14 minutes and 5.2 points pulling down 3.9 rebounds per game.  Many sports analyst feel Dakari could be a low first round draft pick, so they think he should leave because his stock will not rise any higher if he decides to stay in school another year.

Question, what if Dakari is a 2nd Round pick? Some Analyst may be correct when they say Dakari’s draft stock may not get any higher than being a low first round draft pick, but in my opinion he’s a 2nd round pick. He could use another year of school to make sure he’s guaranteed to be a first round pick.  Dakari’s needs to work on developing more post moves in the paint, along with working on a sweeping hook shot using either hand.

He was having trouble getting his shot off in college, so what does he think will happen at the next level where the players are much bigger, stronger, and faster.  Dakari will probably see his minutes increase significantly next season if he decides to return.  If he gets better and develops a right or left hook shot, along with creating more post moves, he could be guaranteed a late first round choice the following year and have longevity in the league similar to former Kentucky big man Nazr Mohammed.

Willie Cauley-Stein:

Willie Cauley-Stein

Willie Cauley-Stein

Willie surprised many people, including John Calipari when he decided to skip the 2014 NBA draft and return for his junior season. Many projected Willie to be a lottery pick. Cauley-Stein did not disappoint in his junior season averaging 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds per game .  He became Kentucky’s 25th consensus first team all-american, and was SEC Defensive Player of the Year, while making the SEC First team as well.  Although Willie still needs to polish his game on the offensive end, he is considered to be a top 10 pick and should most definitely go.

Alex Poythress:

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Alex Poythress played in eight games this season before tearing a knee ligament during practice in mid December.  Alex was shooting 86 percent from the free-throw, had 12 blocks and 30 rebounds on the season before the injury.  He was a significant piece.  Alex is close to graduating if he hasn’t already, so finish up your undergrad, get healthy, and come back for your senior season as a Kentucky Wildcat.  He should look into the process, like he does every year to gain information, then use that information to get better and come out fighting for a mid to late first round pick in the 2016 NBA draft.

Devin Booker:

Devin Booker

Devin Booker

Devin had a sensational freshman season averaging 2nd best 10 points a game, while pulling down 2 rebounds per.  He was a threat from deep shooting at 41.1 percent from three, and shot 82.8 percent from the free throw line.  Booker is projected around 17 in most mock drafts which is borderline lottery. Booker should return to Kentucky next season for the sole purposes of working on how to defend better.  He’s a great offensive talent who can score at all three levels, which is from three, mid range, and at the rim, but his defense will have him in the NBA D-League similar to former Wildcat James Young. Booker should come back, light it up, and end up being a lottery pick after his sophomore season.

Trey Lyles:

Trey Lyles

Trey Lyles

Trey Lyles committed to Kentucky over Louisville during his high-school season stating Calipari’s success with getting players of his stature to the next level as being his reasoning from choosing between the two schools.  Lyles averaged 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Wildcats this season and was considered by Calipari to be the X factor on the team.

Lyles goals have always been to get to the next level, so although Big Blue Nation would like to see Trey in a UK uniform next season, I believe the information he’s getting about being a lottery pick will have him put his name in the 2015 NBA Draft.  He could come back to prove he’s one of the best forwards in college basketball next season, but who would want their son to risk injury when they would be guaranteed millions.

What about staying for the degree? Although it’s good to have the degree to fall back on once your playing days are over, you can always come back, or take some courses over each summer to earn a degree. Some players stay all four years and still don’t have a degree to show for it, so that should not be the sole purpose for a one year player when making a decision to enter the league.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl Anthony Towns

Karl Anthony Towns

Possibly the Number One Overall pick, or at worst number 2 pick of the Draft.  No need to go over his stats for the season, bye Karl-Anthony Towns, do not look back, or even think about staying in school another year.  KAT has the chance to be one of those players that will make close to 100 million over the next 4 years.  He’s smart, and will be one of the kids that continues his education to earn his degree during his career in the NBA.  No doubts about it.   Get Money Big KAT…

Andrew Harrison & Aaron Harrison:

Aaron and Andrew Harrison

Aaron and Andrew Harrison

Why do we always have to lumped these two together, because THEY’RE TWINS that’s why plus it’s much more easier to deal with them as one.  Aaron Harrison led this years team in scoring with 11 points per game, while his brother Andrew averaged 9.3 points with almost 4 assists, and under 2 turnovers. The Twins are projected to be second round draft picks.  Some mock drafts have the Twins going late second round, or not at all.  No use for two huge guards in the NBA?

The Twins are pretty much in a dilemma, they are on schedule to graduate in three years, or they could risk being drafted in the non guaranteed money.  Although I feel the Twins will leave after Calipari’s recent comments, I feel that since they’re so close to getting their degree, why not pull a Patrick Patterson and enter into the league after your junior year.  This a long shot, because Isaiah Briscoe is an outstanding guard coming in next season too, but with the perception of the Twins being 2nd round picks, what do they have to lose for returning for another year.  They are the one’s who said they plan on spending their next four years at the University of Kentucky when they announced a few years ago, so why not 3?

For the record, this is not what I think will happen, because I do not know, but Trey, Willie, and Karl should go.  The Twins, Booker, Poythress, and Dakari need to stay.

At the end of the day, they all talked during the season of it being the last time playing with each other, so Kentucky may see a mass exodus and all seven minus Alex turn pro.

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