With the top players in college basketball now determining whether or not they will give up their college eligibility to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft, the Kentucky Wildcats may be beginning to get nervous.
Every year, it seems like John Calipari is able to bring in a freshman class loaded with some of the top players in the nation. Unfortunately for Calipari and his teams, that also means that they are in danger of losing a lot of the young players thanks to the NBA’s one-and-done rule.
This year, the Kentucky team could lose more players than expected to the NBA Draft with the number reaching as many as seven, according to ESPN NBA insider Chad Ford.
“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,” Ford said, via kentucky.com.
“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.”
It will be interesting to see how everything develops over the next few weeks, but losing seven players would be crippling to the Kentucky squad.
Of course, if we’ve learned anything over the years, it is that Calipari and the Kentucky staff will be able to reload in time for next year even if their freshman stars decide to bolt for the pros.