What can Kentucky fans expect from Kahlil Whitney this fall? According to Andy Katz, a lot. Katz just named the Kentucky freshman one of his top candidates for the Julius Erving Award, given annually to the top small forward in college basketball. Whitney came in at No. 13 on the list of 25, right behind LSU’s Emmitt Williams and ahead of Memphis’ Precious Achiuwa.
Other familiar names on the list: Louisville’s Jordan Nwora at No. 1, Michigan State’s Josh Langford at No. 3, Florida’s Scottie Lewis at No. 6., Florida’s Keyontae Johnson at No. 17, and Auburn’s Anfernee McLemore at No. 18.
Expectations for Whitney’s freshman season are high, but he’s already one of my favorite players on this team. In case you missed it in the documentary that came out about him a few weeks ago, Whitney wrote an essay in eighth grade about how he wanted to play for Kentucky one day:
“I want to go to the NBA and I think I can make it there if I keep working the way I am,” he wrote. “I want to attend the University of Kentucky. Hopefully when I attend Kentucky I want to get a business degree. I want a business degree because I want to start my own business and have more credentials. If I have a good year playing basketball I will enter the draft. If I get drafted I would instantly move my mom into a house.”
Awesome. Check out the rest of Katz’s list at the link below, or watch the “Year of the Dragon” documentary if you missed it the first time around.