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Four Kentucky players in new ESPN 2019 mock draft

While we were all processing Kentucky’s loss to LSU last night, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony released his latest 2019 mock draft, which includes four Wildcats. Tyler Herro and Ashton Hagans make their ESPN mock draft debut in the early second round:

12. Keldon Johnson, Miami
17. PJ Washington, Brooklyn
32. Tyler Herro, Philadelphia
38. Ashton Hagans, Sacramento

Givony writes that Herro’s high basketball IQ and instincts have him rising in the draft, but he must play with more consistency if he wants to be a first-round pick.

“The next step in elevating his draft stock into sure first-round territory will be finding more consistency on the offensive end, as he has been very streaky with his jumper (35 percent from 3), even if his scoring sparks are vivid. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him ride a couple of big scoring outings in March to the NBA draft if things come together for him at the right time. But he could also look at how much a second season in college benefited his teammate PJ Washington and decide to try to make a run at the lottery in 2020.”

Speaking of PJ, his impressive run of games has Givony projecting him on the cusp of the lottery.

“He has shown significant improvement in every facet of the game, particularly his rebounding (11.5 per 40 minutes, up from 8.3), 3-point shooting and overall energy. His ability to play on the perimeter (both as a shooter and ball handler) has improved Kentucky’s spacing tremendously, giving him much more versatility projecting forward fitting into the modern game. He’s now a potential SEC Player of the Year candidate.”

As for the rest of the mock, it has all the usual suspects, including Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett go No. 1 and No. 2. After watching Zion dent a fully-inflated basketball last night, who am I to argue?



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.

42 Comments for Four Kentucky players in new ESPN 2019 mock draft

  1. unbridled
    10:12 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Zion will end up being a morbidly obese fat man. His knees will not last

    • henderblue
      12:12 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      After making millions..

    • ClutchCargo
      3:00 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      He will be able to afford bionic legs when the time comes.

  2. BluemanGreen
    10:22 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Love Keldon but just dont understand how he is the #12 prospect in the country. If he could play shooting guard it would be different…but he is an undersized forward in the NBA. He doesnt have the handles or the jumper to be an nba guard

  3. ukbradstith
    10:26 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    If we get Hagans and Herro back then look out. They’ll be great as Sophomores

  4. Voice of Reason
    10:32 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Keldon can’t guard his position and lacks explosiveness at the rim.

  5. Rod Crandler
    10:46 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Sometimes the “KY Effect” sucks for our program.

  6. ukcamel
    11:28 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    No way that Herro or Hagans are ready for the NBA – both guys should be lottery picks if they come back for one (Hagans) or two (Herro) more years. Nick Richards on the other hand, might be hitting his ceiling for college – if he can get drafted even in the second round he should probably go.

    • henderblue
      12:14 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      None of them are EVER ready after one year. They’re taken on potential

    • catsarerunnin
      12:34 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink


    • catdaddyd
      11:31 pm February 14, 2019 Permalink

      If Herro can shoot consistently then he will be a 1st rounder as his defense has improved greatly since start of season. If he comes back and doesn’t shoot well then he will never make it.

  7. bigblue2284
    11:32 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Not one player on this team is ready for the NBA, not one. I don’t think there is a player on this team that will have NBA success. One thing you must have in the NBA is the ability to shoot and no one on this team can shoot consistently.

    • markshane
      11:52 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

      “getting drafted” means less and less on how good you are and more on “projected development”
      anyone who believes Keldon will be a better pro than college player is fooling themselves…. HE IS NOT THE SECOND, MAYBE THIRD, BEST PLAYER ON HIS OWN TEAM….. much less 12th best in this draft….. PJ- better on both ends, Hagans- better defensively, Herro- better shooter….more defensive energy- gets blocks and steals from his energy. Keldon was supposed to be a “dog” or a gifted scorer, defensive stopper, etc…. Herro can get buckets driving BETTER than Keldon. And seemingly, he gets zero crap from Cal, unlike PJ for sure and to some degree Hagans and Herro…….
      rant over LOL

    • syrin23
      5:11 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Herro will be a solid pro like JJ Reddick. EJ will be a good pro. Not sure about the rest.

  8. StuckinLville
    11:55 am February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Still sucks we didn’t get Zion

    • BigolBlue
      2:26 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      You arent used to Cal missing on guys yet?

    • catsarerunnin
      4:27 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      How’s your boy Pitino doing in BFE Slater?

    • syrin23
      5:13 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Duke isn’t going to win it all. Shooting 29% on threes, 200+ in the country from FT line. Zion is a TERRIBLE on the ball defender. Got torched all night long against ChokerVille. I’m sure he will improve as a pro, but he is a defensive liability. I would make him play D all night long and attack him constantly.

  9. runningunnin.454
    12:12 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    This is just preposterous. They’re not good shooters, and that’s the NBA game.

  10. VirginiaCat
    12:18 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Great news. Hopefully Cal can pull some strings and get those four plus others into the NBA. While other teams focus on March, we know that the real payoff is June. Those backward schools still don’t understand that it’s the name on back of the jersey that matters. Maybe we can get a banner hung in Rupp that commemorates our June successes. The best part is that we will get a new crop of semi-elite players next year. Cal will caution that they are young, that we are everybody’s super bowl, and that he loves his team. It doesn’t get any better.

    • KayutsBy90
      12:24 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      No more excuses cal?

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      1:22 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      I guess you want all our players to suck for three years and then magically be draftable and awesome as seniors. Stay in Virginia.

    • KentuckyKira
      1:32 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Hey now! A couple of key things to point out:
      1) June IS the single most important month of the college basketball season, because
      2) we’re ending generational poverty (ever heard of it?) and
      3) it’s impossible to upset by a team with a fraction of the talent we have without actual games being played. BUT
      4) we might just be good enough to get past the Sweet Sixteen this year! And also,
      5) they don’t make banners big enough to fit all of the players in the BBNBA.

      Get a grip, VC.

    • bigbluehank
      1:50 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Willis, I think you’re missing the point. Fans don’t want the players to “suck for three years.” They want the players to be committed to team success rather than focusing on the best ways for them to improve their draft stock. If a guy is a stellar college player with little to no chance of making it in the Association, most rational fans would take that without hesitation.

      Kira, well said re the BBNBA banner! Cal seems to have more interest in filling that mural with his former players than he does in bringing championship banners to the rafters. It’s as if he hasn’t yet realized that advising some of his guys to stay in school will benefit the team AND the player!

    • catsarerunnin
      6:38 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      That’s the dumbest thing ever posted. Congrats!

  11. sportsbird66
    12:24 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink


  12. No more excuses cal
    12:33 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Who cares 4 players got embarrassed last night to

  13. kjd
    12:46 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t follow the NBA.
    I do follow and cheer for our Wildcats. I don’t give a hoot where they’re projected to be drafted.

  14. JoshtheCATSfan
    1:48 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    I can see Hagans going simply because his defense and ball handling. Hero has to become more consistent behind the arc to even consider leaving early. He really should be a 3 or 4 year guy if we are being honest. Mark my words if he leaves he will NOT make a roster next season and will end up playing overseas or in the G league.

    • syrin23
      5:16 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

      Hagans is under sized and cannot shoot from the guard position in a league that is all about shooting. He doesn’t finish at the rim like Herro. Herro’s NBA upside is much greater than Hagans’ is right now.

  15. BigolBlue
    2:24 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Keldon at 12 is comical

  16. Jiminy Crickets
    5:08 pm February 13, 2019 Permalink

    Per usual, this time of year I always wrap my head that “well these two will leave, but everyone else will be back”. I can see Hagans and Herro projected in 2nd round, they have potential to bee great in 2-4 years. Johnson I haven’t seen anything to tell me he gets better, his athleticism is grossly over hyped, he can’t shoot, and can’t guard M2M. But I’m sure these 4 will go, plus Travis, plus one we’re not expecting, plus a transfer. Well all sit around talking about how great Baker is gonna be and how Cal is going to run the dribble drive, how great of a shooting team we are and how bad A that Edwards kid in Georgia is. And if it sounds like you’re complaining then everyone will call you Slatermedic

  17. Just saying
    6:57 am February 14, 2019 Permalink

    Here is what’s happening to college basketball. More talk about the NBA than being a great college player first. Don’t blame the players for pursing their dreams but far too may are just not ready for a good career in the league. Oh how another year of CBB would help them and at the same time the team. Just sayin