This tidbit slipped through the cracks of all of the Selection Sunday madness, but after John Calipari was done calling Jay Bilas a Duke homer, he went on the SEC Network to talk about Kentucky’s draw, and at the very end of the interview, said he believes he will lose eight guys off this squad once the season is over.
“The issue we have is we gotta add news guys every year,” Cal said. “We’ll lose eight from this team. You hear what I said? And I’ll six or seven, eight for next year. And you won’t believe this, you’ve gotta have a warm up line. You can’t just lose eight and add three. Now you’ve got four guys in the warmup line. One of them is my son!”
So, let’s break down who those eight could be. Three are obvious:
3 Seniors Gone: Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, Mychal Mulder
3 Freshmen Draft Locks: Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo
1 Sophomore Who Really, Really Wants to be in the NBA: Isaiah Briscoe
Isaiah may have slipped out of the latest Draft Express mock, but he apparently had promises from teams last year to draft him. If he gets a promise or his stock rises during the tournament, I’ll just tell you, he gone.
So, that begs the question, who else?
Gabriel’s production has dropped from earlier this season and he’s now averaging 5.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per game. Derek Willis took over the starting spot, but Wenyen still has his moments, most notably vs. Alabama in the SEC Tournament, where he showed more hustle than we’ve seen in weeks. I still believe Wenyen will have a game in the NCAA Tournament in which he’s a factor, ala Marcus Lee vs. Michigan during the 2014 run. While his numbers haven’t been huge, his frame and upside may be enough for a team to take a chance on him in the second round.
SKJ hasn’t played in a game since January 21, and with another stacked frontcourt coming in, will he choose to transfer and play somewhere else? According to his social media and an interview with Jerry Tipton, Sacha intends to “stick to the plan”:
So, who is the eighth player? Is somebody else considering a transfer, like Isaac Humphries or Tai Wynyard? Could Hamidou Diallo decide to pass on next season and go ahead and declare for the draft?
Or, did Calipari just throw a number out there without really thinking about it? Let’s hear it in the comments.