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Who impressed the NBA scouts the most Saturday?

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

There were reportedly 18-20 NBA scouts at the Kentucky/Louisville game on Saturday. Who impressed them the most? Here are my top candidates:

Willie Cauley-Stein — Free throw struggles aside, Willie Cauley-Stein was phenomenal against the Cards. WCS showed a lot of promise early on this season, then sort of disappeared during Kentucky’s cupcake schedule. When Cal called upon him to start, the mustard (or is he the ketchup?) was ready to roll, scoring six points and pulling down eight rebounds. Those numbers may not sound that impressive, but Cauley-Stein was the catalyst for the Cats’ comeback in the second half, throwing down a monster dunk and scrapping on defense. Earlier this season, he was mentioned as a darkhorse in the NBA draft, which seemed improbable based on more recent performances, but Willie Cauley-Stein may have played his was back in the conversation against Louisville.

Ryan Harrow — It sounds absurd to call Harrow’s journey this season a comeback story since we’re only halfway through, but it’s true. Due a mystery illness, there was a point in which it didn’t seem like Harrow would be back on the team. After talking it over with his family on Thanksgiving break, Harrow returned, and has slowly but surely improved ever since. Harrow had a breakout game against Marshall, but his game against the Cards may have been even more impressive. Harrow had a tall task in guarding Peyton Siva, and he more than held his own, scoring 17 points and not committing a single turnover. Harrow may not be a John Wall, Brandon Knight, or Marquis Teague, but he’s evolving into a Calipari point guard, a hot commodity in the NBA these days.

Nerlens Noel — Noel had another good game against Louisville, earning the respect of Rick Pitino, who called him a future number one pick. He consistently does everything asked of him, and with one more shot in his arsenal, could be unstoppable. Nerlens will go high in the draft, no doubt, it’s just a matter of how high.

Archie Goodwin — Let’s just call him Dr. Archie and Mr. Hyde. Archie is amazingly talented, but must learn some control. At times, Archie seems to just throw the ball in the general direction of the basket in hopes it will go in or that he will be fouled. Archie showed why he’s going to be an NBA draft pick in the last eight minutes of the game Saturday, but scouts may want to see more control from him to go in the top ten.

Your turn. Whose NBA stock rose the most against the Cards?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

50 Comments for Who impressed the NBA scouts the most Saturday?

  1. Paul
    10:13 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Is this the show thread??

  2. huntin chickens
    10:13 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    WHAT NO SHOW? seriously? pretty bandwagon if you ask me

  3. Shew
    10:16 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    We lost the game…I’m not worried about whose NBA stock fluctuated after Saturday.

    If we become even a semblance of a team offensively and lose the defensive lapses, then we’ll start winning at a high rate and the NBA scheit will take care of itself.

  4. g-mill
    10:20 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    No show after Louisville is not the best of decisions. I love UK but the best player on the floor Saturday was Behanan.

  5. Bob
    10:20 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    So 8 guys played on Saturday and you were able to narrow down to 5 by omitting Mays, Wiltjer and Polson. Keen analysis there!

    Also, WCS as “phenomenal”? Man, in another week you’ll look back at this performance as legendary!!

  6. ReedyCreekBuc
    10:21 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Do we care about the NBA?

  7. TrinityPills
    10:22 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    5) Sweet counting skills.

  8. Drizzy Drake
    10:25 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    I’m sorry but WCS was not that impressive. He took advantage of playing time but I don’t think he did anything to impress any NBA scouts. Just hustled, really. No tangibles that would make a scout report back that he is first round worthy. Expect WCS to be back next year.

  9. Bob
    10:27 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Yep, that was the point of my post. Kudos to you for your own keen analysis.

  10. J in Orlando
    10:28 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    4 lol, I am assuming that was a joke…The best all around game was Ryan Harrow (PG clinic on offense, held his own against Siva on D), but it was WCS who probably has solidified a 1st round pick after being in limbo coming into the game

  11. SeaCat
    10:30 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    What about Poythress?
    What impression did he make?

  12. Brian
    10:32 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Harrow/Goodwin need to watch game film from last year & learn how to throw the lob. With the way Nerlens and WCS run the floor we should be pushing it and throwing lobs constantly. Then with the slower Mays & Wiljter spotting up for 3 in transition if the lob isn’t there. This team isn’t going to be great in the half-court since everyone is limited offensively so turn them loose.

  13. NL
    10:33 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Honestly, none of our players looked NBA ready. This is really where the ‘Kentucky Effect’ hurts us. Archie, Nerlens, and especially Alex are all over rated for this point in their young college career. I get the draft on potential thing, but we hype these guys up too much and then they don’t stick around. Make the case that right now, at this point, Archie or Alex is one of the ten best players in the nation…I don’t think you can do it.

  14. I. Melvin
    10:35 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Let me get this straight: after a loss to make us 8-4 (and unranked for too many weeks to count), we’re talking about how many of our guys will go pro in a few months and everyone’s ok with this?


  15. Ukbradstith
    10:37 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    #15, great post!

  16. CATfish
    10:39 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    #11, if nba scouts only looked at this game on scouting poythress, they would probably be questioning themselves on why they came all the way down here to watch such an irrevelent player. As for WCS, coming into the season, he was supposed to be getting eloy Vargas minutes… Think about that… Anything he does extra is bonus. Be grateful that he has exceeded expectations. Imagine what would have happened if WCS would not have played against louisville. Cut the boy some slack. He has done a whole lot more than what was expected of him.

  17. Stevie
    10:42 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Does an 8-4 team with ZERO quality wins really have 5 players on the draft watch list??

    If so, must be poor coaching………..

  18. Stevie
    10:42 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    4 players….still

  19. CATfish
    10:44 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    14, I enjoy talking about this. What else is there to talk about? Oh yeah the same ole beat up topics. So, its fine to talk about players to the NBA. And your point on 8 and 4, just be happy for where this program is at now. We could be stuck with BCG and be 2 and 10 for all we know. Let’s just be happy. Am I the only one who feels that way?

  20. trublucat
    10:45 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    I agree, the last thing I’m thinking about is their draft stock. What about our season, what does it matter if we get 4 first rounders this year but we only make it to the second round of the tourney. Well at least we can say we had the most first round Draft picks…. yeah! SMH

  21. Jones Returns
    10:45 am December 31, 2012 Permalink


    That’s it…

  22. tickle
    10:48 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    i don’t care about who will or will not become instant multi-millionaires. to hell with the nba. if you love your country you gotta love the Kentucky Wildcats.

  23. BigBlueBrian
    10:51 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Who gives a crap about the NBA? I’m for the Kentucky Wildcats. This thread shouldn’t show up until mid April.

  24. John hoods lake
    10:52 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    17, you must be a Louisville fan. Zero quality? So let me get this straight. We just lost a game with our 5 guys that are brand new to Cals system and Louisvilles 5 experienced players, by 3, at the YUM center and you think its bad coaching? I’m not so sure on that one

  25. me
    10:56 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Cal says it all the time – UK isn’t for everyone. I’m beginning to think Alex is one of those kids that just doesn’t understand the opportunity before him. At the rate he is going, he’s going to be a 2 or 3 or 4 year player. Pretty sure that isn’t his game plan.

    Conversely, Kyle seems fine with the idea of being here for 3 or 4 years – no rush to leave. I thought he did fine on Saturday. He is never going to be the most athletic kid on the floor, he doesn’t have to be. NOT COMPARING HIM TO LARRY BIRD, but no one slammed Bird for being slow and “unathletic.” We all enjoyed his 3 point shooting and craftyness in scoring against far more athletic players. Actually felt like Kyle should have received 3 or 4 more minutes of clock in the 2nd half.

  26. CATfish
    11:00 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Am I the only one who can see the comparison between Terrence jones and Alex poythress? Both were/ are inconsistent, big guys, and a beast when they got their head in the game.

  27. Stevie
    11:08 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    #24. Read the post again. ZERO quality wins. Haven’t beat a ranked team yet. Since when does Kentucky settle for playing close games against top college programs (Duke,UL).

    And only pushing buttons with coaching comment.

  28. cc
    11:11 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    If Ryan Harrow is and NBA player, then Colin Cowherd is handsome. No way.

  29. Colin Cowherd is Good Looking
    11:21 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Colin Cowherd is a good looking man, so whatchoo talkin’ bout Willis?

  30. Cowboy CATfish
    11:24 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Harrow was like 5-17 from the floor….that isn’t impressive or NBA worthy. GET. A. CLUE.

  31. We are ok
    11:27 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Harrow is healthy and doing what we thought he would. When ever Goodwin learns how to play this team will be good! Goodwin plays hard and has the game he just needs to get under control and learn when to pass and when to shoot. Typical freshman in DEC.

  32. sunnycat
    11:28 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    26. As bad as Jones played at times his freshman year he was light years ahead of Poythress on offense and defense. And if he wasn’t scoring Jones always played D and rebounded. Poythress seems lost 90% of the time on both ends of the floor. I would take Jones as a frosh over Poythress anyday.

  33. I Say
    11:31 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Is it too much to as that one of our two 7 footers get a post game? I cant remember a Cal team that played on the perimeter this much.

  34. kingrex
    11:32 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Please STOP posting these ridiculous draft board segments! This is exactly what is wrong.

  35. TrinityPills
    11:38 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    9) I don’t come here for “keen analysis” (however you define that). I don’t come here for much other than to be entertained and see other peoples’ thoughts on games, the team, recruiting and other UK-related topics. Read the tag-line for the site if you have forgotten what the writers here do. What do you come her for? To bag on someone’s opinions about how the players fared in front of NBA scouts? Also, do you really believe that the NBA scouts are irrelevant at this point? I can assure you that they, and their opinions of how the players fared in this game, aren’t irrelevant to UK recruiting targets.

    It amazes me that people still come on this free sites and complain about the writers and the topics they choose to write on.

  36. TrinityPills
    11:42 am December 31, 2012 Permalink


  37. Bigcat4453
    11:53 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    I’m with TrinityPills on this one. I come here for entertainment purposes, and maybe get the latest on UK news. All the other stuff is what you makeof it. Yes, even the trolls give it some entertainment value.
    As the late Dale Earnhardt used to say,”They cheer for you, or they boo you. Either way it’s Okay. When you hear silence, then you know you are no longer important”!

  38. Jon Hadley
    11:54 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    33 are you a moron.

  39. Bob
    12:05 pm December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Mr. Trinity – We agree. I too would be interested in the scouts’ impressions from Saturday’s game. But that’s not what we got here. We got a fluff piece that provided no insight whatsoever. Of course these 4 gave the best impression on Saturday. This is obvious to anyone who watched the game.

  40. I Say
    12:11 pm December 31, 2012 Permalink

    38 No…

  41. Ryne
    12:29 pm December 31, 2012 Permalink

    FYI Penn St is beating us in the video game cover please keep voting…

  42. Federer75
    12:49 pm December 31, 2012 Permalink

    I think that Nerlens looked very active and never got frustrated out there. Goodwin like the post said was cold in the first half and played well in the 2nd minus turnovers. WCS is a big guy who can run the floor. He would likely be better served staying for a 2nd year to work on his game in an environment where he gets minutes, but he’d go somewhere in the 1st round just based on upside and his attitude. Kyle can work his way into being a pro, but he’s got to get stronger and improve his lateral movement. Alex P. got 7 points and 5 boards while playing like garbage for 15 minutes. If he starts to play well for 30 minutes, watch out. That may take awhile to occur.

  43. UK Freshmen
    1:26 pm December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Write something compelling like investigating why Cal has coached a preseason #3 team to falling out of sight into oblivion. Or why the school has totally diluted the basketball schedule with horrible teams while jacking up ticket prices. Or why UK may not make the tournament with their lack of key wins and their pending low RPI.

  44. I. Melvin
    2:36 pm December 31, 2012 Permalink

    @19 – I’m not down on the program at all. I think we have the best coach (and one of the finest human beings) in the profession. I love the quality of kids we’ve had join us.

    I just think we are rushing way too many of them out the door.

    I’ve got no problem with a rebuilding year, but losing FOUR(!) freshmen from a team not even ranked in the Top 30 is not a rebuilding year. It’s a wasted year.

  45. TrinityPills
    2:54 pm December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Bob – I guess, for me, this post served as a quick reminder that there were 20ish NBA scouts at the game on Saturday and it put a bow on how 4 of UK’s players played. I always assume there are NBA scouts at the UK games but I think the point was that there were so many for this particular one. Mrs. T did a good job of providing her thoughts on what she believes these scouts (some or many of whom will only see UK live in this game) might have taken away from the game, including some impressions that may not be in line with what UK fans have come to expect from the players (WCS ripping a drive and dunk from the top of the key, Harrow playing like we all thought he was capable of playing – yet hadn’t against a BCS school, etc.). My comments were directed less at your pursuit of analysis (of which there has been plenty on this site since the game), and more towards the general fact that people would rather take the time to read and comment negatively on an article they don’t agree with, than just skim past it or ignore it. You certainly weren’t the only reader to have a problem with this article. Just seems like nobody wins in that situation.

  46. coach
    3:46 pm December 31, 2012 Permalink

    #43 (freshmen)<—pretty much sums it up with (freshmen) Preseason rankings? Hell Cal was even laughing about a preseason #3 ranking. Investigation????? again. Investigation???? hahahahahhahahahaha Not make the tourney??? BWABWAHAHAHAHA…Ticket prices??? with the place packed?? standing room only?? You personally don't get out much do ya? You being a (freshmen) it's understandable, thats ok, you will be invited to parties next yr boy. Maybe

  47. UKfanatic
    3:47 pm December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares??? They are here to play at UK this year. This is kentucky sports radio, not some NBA draft site.

  48. Bob
    4:27 pm December 31, 2012 Permalink

    Trinity – there were 20 NBA scouts at the game? Who knew? I certainly have not read about that in 10 other posts on this site. And a review of how the guys played? Nope, that’s new too.

    Waste of a post. Period.

  49. TrinityPills
    12:48 pm January 1, 2013 Permalink

    Bob – guess I missed the 10 posts about the number of scouts. Regardless, the article made me think about the impressions the scouts might have taken away from this game where I hadn’t before. None of this changes the fact that you are perfectly capable of skipping a post you think of as a “waste.” Why you choose not to do so is a mystery to me.

  50. Bob
    7:06 pm January 1, 2013 Permalink

    Consider it my version of constructive criticism.