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Four Wildcats in ESPN’s Top 50 NBA Draft prospects

ESPN NBA Draft expert Jonathan Givony just dropped his latest rankings of the top pro prospects in college basketball. Four Wildcats made the top 50, two the top 20:

  • No. 10: Keldon Johnson
  • No. 20: PJ Washington
  • No. 40: Tyler Herro
  • No. 43: Ashton Hagans

Givony ranks Keldon the fourth best small forward behind Cameron Reddish (Duke), Romeo Langford (Indiana), and Nassir Little (North Carolina). His strengths?

“Aggressive, versatile player on both ends of the floor. Powerful attacking in a straight line or in the open floor. Capable outside shooter. Highly competitive rebounder and defender. Plays with toughness, intensity and confidence, and he has a good feel for the game.”

Keldon’s in a bit of a funk right now, but I can’t argue with any of that. Meanwhile, Givony has PJ as the fifth best power forward behind Duke’s Zion Williamson (also the No. 1 overall player on the list), Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, Sekou Doumbouya from Guinea, and Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura.

“Washington has enviable physical tools and will almost certainly hear his name called in the first round if he can find a way to use his tremendous measurements to better perform defensively and on the glass, which didn’t happen consistently enough as a freshman.”

Again, spot on. Consistency isn’t PJ’s strong suit. Givony ranks Tyler Herro as the ninth best shooting guard available and Ashton Hagans the fifth best point guard. If Hagans can improve his shooting a little bit, he’ll end up way higher than that.

Check out the whole list at ESPN.com.

[Jonathan Givony’s Best Available]

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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.

47 Comments for Four Wildcats in ESPN’s Top 50 NBA Draft prospects



  1. Catcasey1
    1:36 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Disagree with Hagen



    • Rod Crandler
      2:16 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Reality is only one on that list should be even considering making the jump….however, they will probably all go…again…and we start over again next fall….again….



    • Sentient Third Eye
      3:37 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      It’s probably fair today, but it doesn’t take a genius to see he will probably be top 10 by the end of the year.



    • Trevor
      3:54 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Doesn’t Hagans have to wait until his graduating class is one year removed from High School? His class graduates this year so he can’t go till next year, correct? Or does the fact that he’s 19 mean that he “could” go.



    • davis2319
      4:18 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Trevor, player must be 19 years old or at least 1 year removed from high school.



  2. jrdh13
    1:44 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    If a kid cant get a single point against a bad georgia team why in the world would an NBA team draft him. PJ hasnt scored over 15 pts in forever and barely grabs 7 8 boards a game. Herro has got the prettiest jumper that seems to never go in. Hagans is and will be a dog love that kid. I know the kentucky effect is real but its also causing our guys to go when theyre simply not ready.



    • StillBP
      2:00 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Because one bad game against a bad team doesn’t mean he isn’t going to be really good as he gets older. As of now Keldon is averaging 14.6 pts on 50% shooting, 38.9% 3pt shooting, and 5 rebounds a game. A NBA team doesn’t need him to come in the 1st year and be the star player, but they can build off the strengths he already has and coach him the way they want. I don’t want him to go but I can see why someone would draft him.



    • bigblue2284
      3:17 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Wrong BP as usual. Washington has only score double digits 6 times this year, every time it was against our lower ranked opponents and he poured in a blistering 11 against UNC and 8 against UL. I have no idea why fans like you act like he is elite.



    • bigbluebanana
      5:24 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Did I miss BP commenting about Washington somewhere? Even amongst us “homer” fans, you’d be hard pressed to find any of us ever claiming Washington is elite. He’s a solid big man with potential to be very good though, all a matter of how badly he wants it.



    • KYjellyRoll
      9:06 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Hmm…you don’t have to score 20 points a game to be a baller…



    • bigblue2284
      3:18 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Oh and he is undersized and can’t shoot, think Jared Sullinger for his ceiling.



    • StillBP
      7:55 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Try working on that comprehension, 2284. Telling someone they’re wrong when you can’t even understand who they are talking about lol. I clearly said Keldon. Because the original comment started off talking about the player who scored zero points against Georgia… That wasn’t PJ, dummy.



  3. ukcamel
    1:44 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    This is PJ’s last year either way, I suspect, so I hope he keeps a first round projection.

    Hagans and Herro have no reason to even be thinking about the NBA draft. They are both potentially future 1st round picks in 2-3 years, but if they enter the draft now they will be lucky to be second round and in any event will be straight to the G-League.



    • BigolBlue
      1:56 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      No doubt. Its Cals way. He will be proven a failure if he stays more than 2 years.



    • catsarerunnin
      4:04 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      You’re a failure now BigolBuffoon.



    • Skooms
      5:27 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Now now BoB, until they underperform or lose again, you shouldn’t talk crap. It helps keep you from looking like a UofL fan.



  4. UKinIN
    1:47 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Langford is not a small forward.



  5. BigolBlue
    1:55 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Keldon at 10? No thanks



  6. natedaddy
    2:07 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    This is the biggest bunch of BS I’ve ever seen. There’s not one single NBA ready guy on this team. But at least 3 will go, because, uh, players first!



    • Nugget01
      2:17 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      How about we let NBA teams decide who is NBA ready? It’s not exactly new news that they draft based on potential rather than how good you are today (whether you like it or not.)



    • Wade
      2:48 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      1 senior(Reid) ,1 earning it(hagans), and 1 wanted to go last yr and didn’t and is playing like crap(pj), Keldon will go just bc they are seeing spurts but he has had a couple bad games and I expect it’s bc cal is trying to get the bigs involved since that going to win us a championship! Sometimes picks are upside and he’s a freshman so I expect him gone unless he just disappears or we discover it was all beginners luck,which I don’t think! I expect nick, herro, and baker to see if they have a shot to be drafted in the late 1st early second! Herro is balling if his shots comes along they will take him since it’s an offensive game in the nba! People love the shooters and he’s wayyy more than that! We may lose a bunch or have one hell of a guard heavy team next yr with hopefully ej back and at least one other big! My wish list is Stewart and McDaniel so we’ll see.



    • KYjellyRoll
      7:57 am January 18, 2019 Permalink

      Keldon has one bad game and they talk about him like he won’t be ready by draft. He may not look ready at times but everyone has an off night. Keldon will be the most ready nba player we have on this team.



    • Skooms
      5:27 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Sweet take bro, which team do you scout or coach for??



    • natedaddy
      8:16 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      I watch a lot more NBA than I do college ball. NBA GMs and coaches that pick these guys from this cats team are gonna regret it. But again, Cal is players first. Washington and Johnson are already gone. Hagans too if he keeps doing what he’s doing. Still doesn’t mean they’re ready though. The caliber of NBA player Cal is putting in the league has decreased the last 3 years



  7. Headhurts
    2:09 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    If your not in the first round u stay for another year unless maybe your a junior or your family is dirt poor, beyond that u should stay and master your craft.



  8. henderblue
    2:20 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    None of them that have left early was ready. They are taken on potential.



    • StillBP
      2:50 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      None? You don’t think AD or Wall were ready?



    • MrPioneer
      3:17 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Not to mention KAT or Booker. Henderblue, you can’t be serious with that comment, right?



    • N-UR-i
      5:03 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Also Cousins, Murray, and Bledsoe…



  9. bwise
    2:42 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Consistency is all about effort and giving a damn. A lot of times pj looks like he just doesn’t care or maybe he went into the game thinking the other team is inferior.

    I’m good with keldons 1 and most likely only zero because he always looks like he’s out there to kill the other team.

    If hagans stay and improves his shot to where the other team has to at least guard him at the 3 you could argue he will go top 10 next year. Defense is clearly superior, having a decent shot will allow him to blow by his defender which in leads to easy layups or assist.



    • ClutchCargo
      2:58 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      He’s the closes thing to Rondo we have had since Rondo. He has no problem getting by a defender and doing those things even without a jump shot.



  10. Kat4Life
    2:58 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Wonder who will actually go and who will stay.



    • bigblue2284
      3:21 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Washington, Johnson and Haggan, Ried because well obviously he is a senior. They after that it’s time for the next crop of overrated 5 *.



    • Skooms
      5:33 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Hey another awesome take! So which college team are you scouting for?



  11. kentucky1998
    3:56 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    PJ Washington needs to step it up. He won’t make it in the NBA if he keeps like this



  12. davis2319
    4:17 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Love that this team is getting better and are about to hit their stride come February, but we do not have 1 NBA player on this team. I don’t understand the fascination people have with Keldon Johnson. He can’t create his own shot, he is not a shooter (yes, sometimes he hits 3’s), cannot defend, and cannot handle the ball. I think at best in the NBA he is an energy guy that is limited offensively that can spark a team off the bench every now and then with his athleticism and hustle. IMO, same career path as Hamidou Diallo. Probably a little better shooting wise than Diallo, but Diallo is more athletic.



  13. UK Maine-iac
    5:04 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Sometimes a kid is more suited for pro play than college. So I see why teams take players based off potential and unless you are gifted like AD or Kat no one expects you to take a team to the playoffs your first year. I know a bunch of you, myself included, thought Booker was nuts for going pro. That turned out pretty well.



  14. N-UR-i
    5:05 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Also Cousins, Murray, and Bledsoe…



    • N-UR-i
      5:05 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      Wrong spot lol



  15. CatManDo
    5:41 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Prediction: EJ will be a better pro than PJ.



    • IrishCat
      9:09 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      That’s easy $



  16. Chacosrule
    5:43 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Romeo is NOT better than Keldon.



  17. runningunnin.454
    5:44 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    I just don’t see anybody ready for pro ball after this year. I fear they would end up in a former Soviet bloc country.



  18. KYjellyRoll
    8:51 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t think Herro is 40, and hagans has to be higher than 43…



  19. kjd
    9:34 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Laughable. Must be a lack of talent this season.



  20. BLUEDOUG65
    9:48 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    I said early we don’t have an elite point guard not do we have a rim protector . Enter Ashton Hagans andcalmight be the best developer of young guards in college . Now you see him focusing on the bigs and Nick and EJ are playing better. This team has a chance to make some noise….. as far as sure fire pros I really only see Keldon Johnson. Pj will have a good chance but not sure I see a definite can’t miss pro on the rest of this team



  21. KYjellyRoll
    7:58 am January 18, 2019 Permalink

    You have to understand pj personality and attitude. He just seems a little shy to me. But once that dirt shot falls or he gets that first block it seems to open his attitude up a little and then he ends up having a good or great game