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Draft expert: Jarred Vanderbilt should return to school

As we head into the final stretch of the season, the inevitable question of who will go pro and who will stay starts to creep in. Right now, Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are Kentucky’s top pro prospects, but Jarred Vanderbilt’s athleticism may be enough for a team to take a chance on him despite limited action due to injuries this season. Kyle Tucker spoke to ESPN NBA Draft analyst Mike Schmitz, who said that Vanderbilt would be better off returning to school to put together a complete season to impress the scouts.

“If he were to enter the draft, he would probably be picked somewhere in the second round. But he’s still only 18 years old and has room to improve, so with the injury stuff, it would benefit him to go back to Kentucky and prove some things.”

Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but more pressing for Kentucky fans is whether or not Vanderbilt plays in the NCAA Tournament. Calipari seemed doubtful that the freshman would be able to play this weekend, and yesterday, he still had a noticeable limp as he walked out to the bus in Lexington:

Or maybe that’s just how he walks? Hopefully we’ll find out more once Kentucky takes the floor to practice in Boise this afternoon around 5:25 p.m. ET. Until then, check out Schmitz’s complete thoughts on Vanderbilt at the link below.

[SEC Country]


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.

34 Comments for Draft expert: Jarred Vanderbilt should return to school

  1. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots
    12:24 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Much respect to Mike and everything he may do, but I have to concede I have never heard of him which says a lot if you work at ESPN. What I do know is experts at ESPN also rated Bam as a second round talent last year. My thoughts on Vando however are mixed. I believe he is a first round pick this year and next year but his staying power in the NBA deeply depends on which franchise takes him.

  2. GeraldFitch
    12:35 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    There is a 0% chance Vanderbilt returns. It’s obvious from his lack of willingness to play he doesn’t really care about playing college basketball or Kentucky.

    • Parker_UKFanNC
      12:40 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink


    • MrPioneer
      1:12 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Comments like this just show that you have never had a sprained ankle or played an organize sport. Get out of here.

    • GeraldFitch
      4:01 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      False and also False – MrPioneer covered wagon looking boy. It’s just been pretty obvious he cares more about the NBA and prepping himself for that more than he ever cared about Kentucky so my loyalty to him is minimal.

    • MrPioneer
      4:27 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Explain your logic, please. Cal has already mentioned that it is not Vanderbilt’s decision. You can honestly say he does not care about Kentucky after the effort he gave every game he played in? Fans like you are despicable. The miserable, uneducated portion of our fan base who feels the need to call out an 18 year old’s toughness when you have zero insight into the situation. You’re an embarrassment to the true fans.

    • GeraldFitch
      4:37 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      MrPioneer I thought salt was hard to come by on the Oregon Trail? Did your first born die of Typhoid Fever last night?

      Im Gerald Fitch! The epitome of educated! I once smacked Keith Bogans bald ass head in practice and he didn’t do anything about it.

  3. GeraldFitch
    12:38 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink


    “Oh okay here’s the article”
    *47 more ads pop up*



    *Pop up in bottom right*


    Some say to this day many are still scrolling to reach the comments

    • Atg2112
      1:17 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      It is a free site man, what do you want? I know it’s tough rotating that finger or thumb a couple extra times to continue scrolling, but I believe in you.

    • Ez21
      1:21 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Then pay to take em off and quit whining. You can’t bitch about something you have control over.

    • Use an ad blocker. I don’t know how many ppl have to told that.

      Adblock Plus on PC.

      Adguard on iOS (use Safari only for KSR).

      I don’t know about Android, but I’m sure there is a n ad blocker that will work.

    • GeraldFitch
      4:07 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Why can’t yall just let me bitch in peace? Go back to your shanty towns Gypsies and let us use this world wide web like it was intended

    • J-Dub421
      5:39 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      You have control over this situation. Learn to use technology.

  4. Stump
    12:44 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Of course he’s limping. I’m sure he has some sort of boot/brace on his ankle for protection.

  5. UKLugo
    12:48 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Looks like a limp.

    • unbridled
      1:28 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      I thinks that just Vando swag. I bet he plays in the second round. I love my team.

  6. Underdog
    12:50 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    I saw the so-called “experts” predicting Bam in the second round. I thought that was ridiculous. Some of these “experts” listen to what NBA teams say, but think for a moment all the misinformation and disinformation created BY NBA scouts to confuse the people who don’t comprehend talent.

    Let me take the mystery out of Jarred’s future. He is GONE. Not because of what Fitch ignorantly says above that Jarred doesn’t care about KY, but because he’s got a great NBA body and rebounds better than anybody in the NCAA on a per minute basis. He’s a more talented Dennis Rodman. That’s accurate. I’ve been saying that since before Cal said it.

    In other words, there are plenty of NBA teams who value his skills and the intangibles, and plenty who know he will be just fine offensively. He just hasn’t adjusted his shooting game to college yet. And he won’t. Out of time. I hope he plays against AZ or UVA (assuming we get that far), but mark my words, as somebody who knows talent, Jarred is gone. He’s likely a lottery pick.

    Now, the single biggest obstacle to him being a lottery pick, and I mean #10-15, is the reputation for being injury prone. If this is a factor, he may not get drafted. He may be considered too big a risk. However, if the injury factor is not considered, he is a Top 10 pick in my view, as stunning talent that is a must-get. He’s a more skilled MKG, and MKG, need I remind you, was the #2 pick.

    I’m not going to argue with you basketball Bennies out there who disagree. The truth is the truth. Jarred is a stud, and EASILY a lottery pick, despite what the idiotic draft experts say.

    Bam went right where he should have because he’s got motor, can guard all 5 position, has good offensive skills, and is humble and coachable and likable. But most “experts” didn’t see it. They listened to the disinformation or were the SOURCE!

    Jarred is gone. 100% sure. No doubt. You don’t understand talent and work ethic value if you disagree. That’s why Cal is recruiting Wiseman for NEXT year, along with DJ. Jarred may have played his last game for UK. But hopefully we win 2 in a row to see him again. UVA is precisely the team that we need Jarred for. He will EXCEED their level of devotion to Defense.

    • ukcamel
      1:06 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Saying he’s a more talented MKG is a stretch. As limited as MKG is on offense, he was miles ahead of Vanderbilt as a freshman (consistently scoring in double figures). He was also a better perimeter defender. Vanderbilt is a better rebounder and post defender by far.

    • Parker_UKFanNC
      1:16 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      We shall see. I feel if he doesn’t play in the tourney or we get bounced before he can, he will be back.

    • Atg2112
      1:21 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      While I personally do not agree with every point you made, thank you for presenting a well thought out statement that didn’t resort to calling this kid a punk or questioning his love for UK and his drive.

    • Underdog
      1:54 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      And for the record, my favorite UK players of all time:

      1) Chuck Hayes
      2) MKG
      3) Recently, Shai and Jarred V.

      I don’t feel real confident in saying Jarred is better than MKG. MKG was special. He was a leader. He had the “it” factor, like Randall Cobb. I think there are LOTS of similarities. Jarred may have more talent. They both have grit, like Chuck Hayes. But MKG may have been more of the leader type who led by his sheer will and the charisma that comes from the brute will to win.

      The Dennis Rodman comparison might be better. He wasn’t a leader (too much of a freak show on and off the court to be considered a role model or leader), but ON THE COURT he gave his all, and generally outworked the other team. I think Jarred is like Dennis in this respect. This is a huge compliment to Jarred. The desire to outwork the other guy is huge.

      I sure wish he would come back, but I believe too many NBA gurus recognize this gift he has, and they have seen how he’s developed that gift. He really is too hard to pass up, perhaps even with his injury proneness!

    • Cletis75
      5:24 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Underdog, wtf? Risk vs reward, ol’ buddy. Look at the top 10 draft projections. Who does he bump? He’s the 3rd ranked pick on this team. This is a deep draft, and comparing him to Bam is ignorant. Bam showed a lot of strength and 10 more offensive skill than Vando.

  7. UKFootballYall
    12:53 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Whether he goes into the draft this year or next, he could probably improve his draft intangibles by showing he’s a team-centric player. Ice down that ankle and get in some minutes this weekend for your team. It’s tournament time.

    Remember Stephen Johnson? The Tennessee game? What a team-first guy playing through likely much worse pain and discomfort. Would love to see that kind of heart from Vando, if he truly has a say in whether he plays.

    • BigBlueNationDude
      1:12 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      How dare you people question my guy Vanderbilt and his commitment to his team.

    • Parker_UKFanNC
      1:17 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      If you’ve paid attention Cal has said Vando wants to play but Cal won’t let him.

    • Atg2112
      1:22 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      He-she doesn’t pay attention

  8. babydangy
    1:02 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    You morons on here saying he doesn’t care, did you miss the lot where Cal said he wants to play, but that Cal is holding him out? Learn to read morons.

    • Rembrandt
      1:08 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Thank you. Vanderbilt has a sprained ankle. The people who think a player can just tape it up and play on it have never played competitive basketball and don’t know what they are talking about.

  9. Rod Crandler
    1:20 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    If JV goes in the first round then every recruit out there needs to pick KY if offered. Where else can they go, play limited minutes, miss just about every layup and still get a first round pick. I love JV energy and his attitude and hope he stays but if he can really go in the first round with his resume, then wow, go for it and tell every recruit out there the KY effect is for real!

    • Jiminy Crickets
      2:50 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Agreed! If a player at any other school, had 3 foot injuries, and an ankle injury, in any calendar year, then average 6pt and 6rbs, the NBA wouldn’t even be a thought

  10. RealCatsFan
    1:28 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    As far as the limp goes, I would have to see some film of him walking prior to the injury. Some guys just walk like that. I remember Julius Randle, MKG, and a few others who ALWAYS looked like they were limping when they walked.

  11. Alleykat16
    2:00 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    A sprained ankle is an injury that is very hard to heal. Look up Derek Willis sprained ankle and see for yourselves. Hard to play with but its a type of injury when it heals it still is tender and hard to play like a person is use to playing. I think he can win without him on Thursday but I feel like we could really use him in the second game. GO BIG BLUE!

  12. Jiminy Crickets
    2:40 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Anyone else notice that the guy with the so severely sprained ankle doesn’t wear a boot or splint?

  13. jaws2
    3:40 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Rub some spit and dirt on it and GET OUT THERE!!! C’mon MAN! ?