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Kentucky NBA Draft predictions: Who stays and who goes?

The Kentucky basketball season is officially over, which means the next task at hand for the Wildcats is the NBA decision process.

Last year the first round of decisions started rolling in the first week of April, which means we should be hearing a few official decisions in the next week or two. Hamidou Diallo, however, waited all the way up until May 24 before announcing his return to Kentucky, so it could take a month or two to learn about players on the fence.

Let’s take a look at upcoming decisions and some predictions:

Kevin Knox

Prediction: Gone

Confidence level: 95%


For a 6-foot-9, 220 lbs. forward with a smooth shooting stroke, impressive athleticism, and length, his game has been suited for the NBA since day one. He has proven he can score with the best of them in college basketball, including several dominant games against elite defenders. He’s still rough defensively, lacks an elite motor, and his family isn’t necessarily hurting for money, leaving that five-percent buffer.

But don’t be mistaken, Knox is gone.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Prediction: Gone

Confidence level: 95%


SGA came in as a four-star guard expected to be nothing more than a solid role player for the Wildcats. As the year progressed, the Kentucky freshman proved to be the team’s best player.

He will have to work on his jump shot a bit, but his ability to get to the basket will translate extremely well to the NBA. He’s a natural leader, and his length on defense will be enticing to teams.

He could return and be the best point guard in college basketball, but don’t count on it. There was a time it was a given Gilgeous-Alexander would return, but teams are in love with him, and they’ll convince him to enter the draft and become a lottery pick.

Hamidou Diallo

Prediction: Gone

Confidence level: 65%


When he made the decision to return to Kentucky last offseason, there was a preconceived notion this would be his only season at Kentucky, similar to Isaiah Briscoe last year. Despite an incredibly inconsistent year with more downs than ups, I’m afraid he has had his heart set on leaving for too long to return now.

If teams tell him there is no chance he’s drafted in the first round and he needs to return, it’s possible his hand might be forced. He’ll be spending a lot of time in the G-League, and he has some serious work to do with his shooting stroke before he ever sees meaningful minutes in the NBA.

It’s in his best interest to return to school, but I think his heart is set on the league.

Quade Green

Prediction: Return

Confidence level: 85%


Green proved to be an impressive scoring threat on offense and a vocal leader on the team, but never showed enough to be a point guard in the NBA yet. His defense improved late in the year, but he was still a liability on that end and would certainly be in the NBA. Green still shies away from contact at the rim, he disappears on offense too often, and his size is still an obvious issue.

Green will play in the NBA one day, and he’ll be solid, but he’s not there yet.

Sacha Killeya-Jones

Prediction: Return

Confidence level: 85%


Killeya-Jones had his moments, but never proved to be more than a solid role player for Kentucky this past year. He still has impressive potential, and should be a solid and consistent rotation player for the Cats next season.

There were rumors he would transfer last offseason, but he stuck around. The only way he leaves UK this offseason is if he decides to find a greater role elsewhere and transfers (unlikely).

PJ Washington

Prediction: Return

Confidence Level: 75%


Washington dominated in the post on occasion late in the season, and proved to be one of the more consistent offensive threats on the team. He became a tenacious rebounder, and even improved on defense. A double-double on any given night would have surprised no one.

But his game relies on bully ball, and that won’t work in the NBA as an undersized power forward.

As of now, his game is mostly layups and dunks by overpowering smaller defenders in the post. He doesn’t have a dynamic repertoire of offensive moves, and isn’t a major threat athletically, which is the major difference from Bam Adebayo’s decision to leave after one year last offseason.

He’ll likely put his name in the draft, go through the early process, but withdraw.

Nick Richards

Prediction: Return

Confidence Level: 75%


Going into the year, it was a foregone conclusion Richards would be a one-and-done, and he thought it too. He was an athletic freak who once told KSR shot-blocking was “second-nature” to him. If he could come in and immediately produce the way Willie Cauley-Stein did, lobs/easy lay-ins at the rim on offense, rebound, and block shots, he was a first-round lock.

But he was lost more often than not on defense and missed opportunity after opportunity on offense. He has all of the tools physically, but if he was unable to separate himself in the Kentucky frontcourt with his own teammates, he won’t be able to on an NBA roster. If an NBA team convinces him they can work with him on offense, maybe he goes the G-League route, but I don’t see it at all.

Richards has incredible potential, and I believe he’ll eventually be a stud in the NBA. Right now, though, he’s just not ready.

Wenyen Gabriel

Prediction: Return

Confidence level: 60%


Gabriel is a knockdown shooter in a 6-foot-10 body, he has impressive length, a nonstop motor, and he’s a solid rebounder, all things NBA teams love.

That being said, his only offensive game right now is shooting threes, he’s far too skinny, gets worked in the paint on defense. High potential, but inconsistent production and he’d get abused on defense in the pros.

There are whispers he wants to make the jump to provide for his family, which would be the only reason he would feel the need to leave this offseason. He genuinely enjoys school and would love to become a college graduate.

I’d say he’s likely to return, but there’s certainly a chance he goes the professional route, whether it be NBA or overseas.

Jarred Vanderbilt

Prediction: Return

Confidence level: 51%


Vanderbilt has the hardest decision to make on the team.

He is incredibly raw offensively, but was one of the top rebounders in college basketball this past season. His energy is ridiculous, he’s athletic, and showed a ton of promise on defense. He showed both on-court production and potential for even greater success at the next level. If he returned to work on his offensive game, he could be one of the best players in college basketball next year.

His injury history is the key to his decision. If he returns and suffers another foot injury, NBA teams could mark him down as injury prone and his career could be over before it starts. At the same time, injuries are freak situations, and he’ll have to face the situation sooner or later.

His situation is the perfect example of high risk, high reward. My gut says he returns next season and becomes a star for the Cats, but I wouldn’t blame him for a second if he went after the guaranteed money this offseason.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

85 Comments for Kentucky NBA Draft predictions: Who stays and who goes?

  1. Ben27
    8:17 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    I agree with Kevin and Shai, Hami needs another year as well as Shai, they both will spend the next two years in the G league. One more year at Kentucky makes much more sense. It is their choice, but the last game tells it all and they were both over matched by a lesser ranked team.

    • runningunnin.454
      8:39 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      I would advise everybody to come back. Kevin can’t play guard, and he’s not strong enough to fight the big boys in the paint. SGA was out played by less than elite KState guards, and he won’t get those lay ups at the basket in the NBA. Hami needs to come back as well; he’s just too inconsistent, and has a problem with confidence.
      I would love to have them all return and hone their craft; but, the NBA has a way of luring and then chewing up young borderline players.

    • JTHinton
      8:53 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      I agree RG, but Kevin and Shai will go anyway. Though it makes little sense, one of Hami or Jarred will go

    • Daddyof3Ballers
      10:07 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Saying a kid shouldn’t go if they’re projected lottery is as dumb as saying don’t take the promotion at your job because the janitor enjoys your conversation at lunch. Go take the money and hone your craft while getting paid millions. Most successful ppl accept a job they’re not qualified for and figure it out, while others stay stagnant but comfortable

    • maximumscott
      10:38 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      1st off no player is perfect but going back to school whe. Your a Lottery pick is stupid. Especially, Shai being close to 12-15. He needs to go so does Kevin.

    • Melvit
      11:18 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      As Barkley said before, the second contract is more important and I just don’t see Kevin and Shai getting them at this point. They should return or I see them out of a job and possibly broke at 25.

  2. herm89
    8:20 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Hami will be back. If he was that concerned about making money he would have gone to Duke. I’m sure they pay more than the G-League.

  3. Memphis UK Cat
    8:23 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    If we lose 5 players, we will have an average year at best next year.

    • shelby
      8:35 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Not losing 5: kevin and shai have to go. I think wenyon may head overseas but everyone else returns most likely. Quade and PJ will be badasses next year along with the other returnees. I just hope sacha and nick hit the weight room in the offseason.

    • maximumscott
      10:42 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Jarred, Sacha, Quade, PJ, Richard, Baker, Hero, Keldon, Quickly, Montegomery (if we get him).

      That is a nasty 10 Deep rotation. I say Diallo, Knox, Shai, Wenyen are gone. Wenyen will get lost in the line up next year and should go overseas. Diallo could actually benefit by coming back next year. With so many shooters he could be in a ton of 1on1 situations and dominate and go to a lottery pick. He wont though, he gone. Folks, we are going to be loaded next year. Get ready for the 40-0 talk again. The Bahama’s trip will be great for them to gel before the season. Plus, we get Duke at the beginning! Yes!

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      6:51 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Wenyen will be a star on next years team. You people are insane for suggesting he do anything but return. He can be here four years and go to the NBA. He has been a slow developer on every level but has continued to progress.

    • ClutchCargo
      8:44 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      I disagree about Wenyan. He definitely can provide the experience we will need on next year’s team. And I don’t think he gets lost in the shuffle, with the effort he brings.

  4. Bill Selfs Hair Piece
    8:29 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    What about Brad?

    • Booby Petrino
      9:02 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      We need him to red shirt a year so Coach Cal will be sure and stick around longer.

  5. runningunnin.454
    8:30 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    The left side of my bracket looks like crap; but, I had Kansas whipping Puke and joining Nova in the Final four.
    Coach Krewchewski was out coached all over the floor by ha ha ha…Bill Self.

    • Han
      8:35 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      My bracket’s the same. I always pick UK (and then quit worrying about brackets when they lose), but this year I did particularly poorly because I overvalued the SEC in my picks.

    • henderblue
      8:35 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      That he was rg. That he was…

    • shelby
      8:36 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Lol, miraculously, i think i picked 3 of the F4, but had duke losing to mich st.

    • 4everUKblue
      8:45 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      I had KU beating dUKe and Nova winning it all and that’s about all I can say good about my bracket.

    • rockatao
      5:38 pm March 26, 2018 Permalink

      I thought Self did a great job of coaching this game. His defensive game plan was terrific, as it usually is when he has a few days to work it out (remember a few years back when he went to a triangle-and-2 and totally took UK out of the game). Using Mikhailuk on Bagley was genius that no one would have believed beforehand. And he had the tools to pound Duke’s zone inside. Masterful job; now can he do it against ‘Nova, the best shooting teams in years.

  6. wildcatfan20
    8:33 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Hope shai returns! I know it’s likely a pipe dream, but if he wasn’t mentally prepared to jump after one season, maybe his mind still hasn’t flipped to accept that route. I believe he was prepared to stay a couple years, and maybe he just might. I wouldn’t put my money on it though. 🙂

    • Trevor
      9:06 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      I know it’s a pipe dream but Shai is NOT returning. 🙂

  7. Han
    8:33 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    I expect Knox, SGA and Diallo to all go, but I also expect we’ll lose at least one other person (not counting Wynyard). If we end up losing a couple of Vando, PJ, Gabriel, Richards and SKJ (whether to the draft, to Europe, to transfer, whatever), then Cal has to get Montgomery and/or a grad transfer/juco.

    Also, since Duke lost in the Elite 8, how many stories do you think there’ll be nationally about how K is failing and should’ve won given how amazing his recruiting class was? I mean, they had to be the favorites at the start of the season, right? He’s had a top 2 recruiting class almost every year Cal has and only has 2 titles in the last 10 years to show for it. Normally 2 would be great, but if Cal’s a failure for not having more titles, K has to be, too.

    And this isn’t a people in glass houses opportunity since Cal and Kentucky catch a lot of flack for not winning it all. We were proclaimed a lock for our region heading into the K.State game, so if we were a lock then, Duke should’ve been a lock, even with Kansas their 1, since Duke has more can’t-miss NBA talent. Right?

    • shelby
      8:38 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Agree with everything u just said. K had more talent than us last year and this year both.

    • henderblue
      8:40 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      I bet Slater and syrin23 are on that Duke website in their little dookie names giving K hell about how he’s blown it with the best players in college basketball, especially syrin talking about how easy they could have won if he’d been coaching

    • kenny
      8:49 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Which one of the trolls was a DUKE fan? I can’t remember, but I would’ve loved tosee his face when that Newman 3 went in.

    • runningunnin.454
      8:46 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Yep, Coach K underachieved, even though the refs tried to give him the game. After the entire 2nd half, and a minute in OT, Duke was in the double bonus, and had been called for 5 fouls. They couldn’t even foul to put Kansas on the line.

    • 4everUKblue
      8:47 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      I dont understand why UK hasn’t hired Syrin or Slater either one. They’re obviously experts in the coaching circle.

    • 4everUKblue
      8:50 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      The game ended with Bagley not being called for a single foul. It did my heart so much good to see how angry K was. Talk about underachieving….he had by far the most talent this year and last year. ESPN all but handed the trophy to dUKe at the beginning of the season.

    • henderblue
      8:59 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Mine too 4everUK. Yes they were tremendous underachievers. Poor espn. I’m sure they’re heartbroken

    • 4everUKblue
      9:03 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      What was that dookie fan that was running his mouth on here a couple months or so ago?

    • RealCatsFan
      9:07 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      This was actually posted by a dook fan on ESPN. Hilarious!

      “Coach K is an idiot. Keep throwing the ball around the perimeter. Forget Bagley. Forget Carter. Forget Allen is in a slump. Forget Duval is a second rate point guard. Duval needs another year before he should start.

      Poor coaching. Work the one and dones next year. Fail again. Then retire, coach K. The game has passed you by.

      This from a Duke alum that attended Duke when he used to coach. Just a lack of coaching. It gets worse every year, with a bench of assistant coaches that know nothing but what Coach K has taught them. They bring nothing to the table.”

    • 4everUKblue
      9:28 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      So Slater really is a dUKe fan….LMAO! Thanks for posting that RG.

  8. chris43
    8:41 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    I can handle losing Knox, Alexander, and even Diallo (even though he should return). But I soooo hope Vanderbilt comes back. Here’s to hoping he bets on himself and becomes one of the top NCAA players next season along with a lottery pick.

    • justaguyinthebackrow
      9:32 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Agreed. My only concern is Vanderbilt doesn’t want to bet on staying healthy and makes the leap. It will probably depend on the feedback he gets. Hopefully he’s too smart to pull a Dakari.

    • dbookno1
      9:56 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      At the same time though, Dakari made it to the NBA

    • Luether
      10:17 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Don’t see Vandy EVER being a lottery pick. He’s way too limited offensively…

    • maximumscott
      10:47 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      What he does isnt taught. He is a rebounding machine who can run the Point without an outlet at 6’9” and is an elite passer. Shooting can be worked. But he will be utilized in a short game anyways. If he came back he would average a double double next year. He is a good FT shooter too.

    • rockatao
      5:46 pm March 26, 2018 Permalink

      c’mon maximum; vando had THE LOWEST FG% on the team, and he shot 63% on FTs. I will agree he’s a great rebounder and ball-handler for his size, but he’s not going to become an elite offensive player.

  9. Rise
    8:42 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    CBS spots mock draft have Shai, Knox, Hami and Vando all first round

    • runningunnin.454
      8:54 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Well, CBS is full of crap, and I hope the guys don’t buy into it. None of our guys are ready, in another year…maybe.
      And, CBS has a criminal, Chris Webber, on TV calling games…shameful. He also was responsible for Michigan vacating two ff banners and an entire season.
      And, their story today about Coach K writing a letter to his younger self almost made me Duke…I mean Puke.

    • henderblue
      9:25 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Lol…none of our guys are ready rg, most of them never are. But some will go, Knox for sure and I guess SGA. But I’m like you on him. He won’t get to the basket that easy on the NBA. They all need to get stronger

  10. terwilliger
    8:43 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    What about Baker?

    • justaguyinthebackrow
      9:34 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t like to put too much stock into players that haven’t seen floor time (like so many did with Hami last year to this) but if Baker is the shooter everyone says he is he could have been the key to this year and will likely be to next. I can’t imagine he would go anywhere.

  11. jahanc2uky
    8:48 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    8 out of 9 of these guys would benefit financially long term from at least 1 more year. The 1 that is better off leaving is SGA. Knox can be a top 5 pick in next years class, look at that pay difference! Hami is a 2nd rounder this year and next year could easily work his way into the lottery. Everyone else fron Gabriel to Richards can put up a year at UK that could get then drafted in 1st rd. Agree to disagree with me on that if you want, but all 9 of these players have intangibles a NBA team could use, even Richards.

    • Luether
      10:20 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Hami would be a reach in the 2nd round. Don’t see him being drafted at all if if goes this year…

    • 4everUKblue
      4:26 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Funny most mock drafts have him around 30. I hope he comes back though.

  12. Rick_S
    8:57 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    SGA game will not translate extremely well to the NBA..All he can do is drive 1v1 to the basket.He is weak and will have two 7’ers waiting on him at the rim…better come back or he will be in the G League

    • Catsby80
      9:31 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      As much as I’d love to have SGA back next year, there’s absolutely no reason he ‘should’. If he is projected to go in the first round, then he 100% should leave. That is money that does not come around often. I’ve always been of the belief that if you’re offered first round money, you should take it; unless, you’re in a situation like Vanderbilt, who is a fringe first rounder this year, but could drastically improve his draft stock next year and potentially be a lottery pick. SGA will not improve his draft stock by coming back and I expect Cal to tell him that.

  13. Troll Slayer
    9:05 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    I just can’t see an NBA team willing to draft Vanderbilt atm. He has had a lot of injury concerns dating back to high school, and he doesn’t have much of an offensive game. He will improve a ton if he comes back and says healthy for an entire year. Go Cats!

  14. UKLugo
    9:07 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    NBA, ready or not, here I come: Knox,SGA,Hami,PJ,Vandy,Nick. The only one out of that group that I feel would kinda like to stay in college is Shai, but he’ll probably strike while the iron is hot. I cant blame him. None of those other guys are truly ready except maybe Knox (maybe), but I think theyd rather go ahead and get started with that part of their lives.
    If Richards doesnt go NBA, it wouldnt surprise me to see him transfer. It wouldnt surprise me to see SKJ or Quade transfer either. And I dont think Quade is a future NBAer, by the way.

    • maximumscott
      10:49 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      PJ, Quade, Richards, Sacha, Wenyen(maybe), Vando (maybe) come back.

      We will be nasty next year.

    • rockatao
      5:52 pm March 26, 2018 Permalink

      I sure hope Quade comes back; we need his shooting. We have no idea if any of the incoming freshmen can shoot at the college level. I also don’t think Richards is an NBA-level talent – hands are not good enough.

  15. maximumscott
    9:13 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Im drooling over next season. We could be DOMINANT!

    • kjd
      8:36 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Gabriel very streaky shooter, poor defender, same as last year.
      SKJ improved from last, poor defender, little offense, likely has reached his ceiling.
      JV can’t stay healthy, no offense.
      Richards is athletic, but can he become a basketball player?
      PJ has most potential to improve.
      Will these guys put in the individual work to become better? I’m talking skill work not playing pick up games all summer.
      Dominant next year? Maybe.

  16. gasman01
    9:14 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Can’t stand Duke, but unfortunately, they will be really strong next year if they only lose Bagley and Carter. First game will be a real test next year.

    • UKLugo
      10:11 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Theyll be good, but it will be without Bagley,Carter,Trent,Duval, and of course Allen. They’ll be hitting the recruiting trail hard to add to their frontcourt. EJ Montgomery will be their top target, as well as any grad transfer big men out there. Theyll add a big man or two to round out that team. They always do.

    • Daddyof3Ballers
      10:15 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      They’ll lose their starting 5

  17. bluecrowe
    9:26 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    They should all return. IF Shai is a lottery pick he would have to go, but everyone else would benefit from another year. If all those guys were ready, they would have beaten the NIT team we played Thursday. They need to realize there is not even enough room in the NBA for 10 guys total to make NBA rosters next year, much less 5 from our team. This entire thing is like living in bizzaro world.

    SGA was dominated by K State. Just let that sink in for a moment. There is no shame in coming back for another year. Cal needs to get control of this situation. All these kids that have left a year or two too early have just killed their draft potential. When you could end up being a top 5 pick why on earth do you run off?

  18. Smyrna_Cat
    9:36 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Are these your predictions? Those of KSR staff? A survey of others on the web?

  19. Daddyof3Ballers
    10:14 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Knox and SGA lottery. Gabriel undrafted and goes overseas. Hami pulls a Charles Mathews and jumps ship. PJ and Jared test the waters but come back. Next years team looks solid. Let’s just try not to walk it up the floor when we’re bigger, faster and stronger than everyone else. Loyola showed that Cal’s strategy with Kstate was turrible as Barkley would say

  20. maximumscott
    10:43 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Nova got some unlucky matchups. KU matches their guard oriented line up and of Loyola somehow beats Mich then they are a guard heavy team as well.

    • Han
      11:23 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      I have only one rooting interest in this Final Four — I hope Kansas loses. I always root against the other Blue Bloods, and I root against people we fight in recruiting battles. Plus Kansas has been dodging sketchy stuff and dominating their conference for years, so I’d like them to suffer again.

    • 4everUKblue
      4:27 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      ^^^ Yes ditto!

  21. SanDiegoCats
    10:56 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    My thought For the past few months is that shai, Knox, and hami leave. Would be awesome for vando and PJ to return which should be case.

  22. KYJelly
    11:26 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Knox and SGA will leave. I think everyone else comes back unless Wenyen leaves for money. I could see SKJ transferring if we get Montgomery, With PJ back, and Richards improving. Might be too crowded

    • rockatao
      5:56 pm March 26, 2018 Permalink

      this team turned the corner this year when Cal started giving Richard’s minutes to SKJ – why do you think that would change next year?

  23. TheMaxCat
    2:14 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    If you are projected to go in the upper half of the first round then its a no brainer and as much as I’d like to keep SGA and Knox, they will need to go. I agree with Rex Chapman that SGA reminds me of Vern Fleming and Knox will eventually be a good small forward. Everyone else needs to come back but that of course doesn’t mean they will. Hami is a great athlete and in the run and gun, isolation and potential driven NBA he may be coaxed into heading to the league. If all the others return we will be a strong contender. But Vando and Gabriel are both question marks that I could see going either way. I really look for a leap in improvement from Richards and with just a little help from the newcomers it could be lots of fun.

  24. SuperTroy18
    2:56 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    I’ve been dreaming a bit since the season ended.
    I concede that Knox and SGA are likely gone. Diallo too. I hope we get Vanderbilt to stay. I think he needs to. I actually personally think Shai needs to put more weight on before he can hang with the Pros, but when there’s as much guaranteed money on the table as he will see, I’m sure he’s gone. I would be too.
    If everyone else returns, including Vanderbilt, and there are no transfers, and we add the recruits we are getting…I think next season can be seriously special. We are maybe one frontcourt player away from what I feel could be a dominant team. If Richards and SKJ continue to develop and put on weight in the Summer, and the incoming guys can get lots of time with the current guys this Summer, we can really look forward to something special.
    If we land another big man, I think we are golden.

    Honestly, the season opening game versus Puke is huge to me. They will be loaded with stud freshmen, but I think we could beat them. I’d LOVE to start the season off with that big of a bang!

  25. Jiminy Crickets
    8:22 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    Another UK basketball offseason. 11-loss season, and blow the easiest path to FF in NCAA history, then somehow think we have 7 guys that can play pro ball. Knox will be decent bench player in NBA, Shai will make a roster but he’s skinny, and not strong with thr ball, and has an average outside shot. Brandon knight was heads better than Shai and he can’t see playing time in Phoenix.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      8:31 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Talking about the rest, esp Diallo, in the NBA right now is comical. If they want to go to GLeague or Lithuania then so be it, but an actual NBA roster, nope. The NBA no longer wants guys that are athletic but can’t shoot. It’s a wide open perimeter game. Big guy with no offense or defense, and no motor? Dime a dozen.

    • 3Goggles
      8:58 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      He has also made over $80 million over his career. If SGA does half that, he will be a very happy man. This is a career path. We should all remember that when talking about whether these kids should go pro or not

    8:35 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    ANYONE who follows recruiting and college basketball in general, knew 1000% that Nick Richards was not a one and done.

    • BBNDan7
      8:59 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Um no. Literally every single mock draft had him as a lottery pick to start the season

  27. chrisg18
    8:55 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    Why is everyone saying Diallo is gone? Where is he going? He was a less than average college player this past year. No NBA team is going to draft him and offer him anything guaranteed. A shooting guard who can’t shoot? Man they don’t play in the NBA anymore. Becoming much more of a skills game than who is more athletic, and Hami does nothing skill wise at the NBA level, not even close. I guess he can go and play in the G league for a good 3-5 years hoping to develop a jump shot so he gets called up one day. I mean Malik Monk was light years ahead of Diallo and he can’t even see the floor in the NBA. Heck even Briscoe and Hawkins were better NBA prospects than Diallo is right now.

    • chrisg18
      8:56 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      With all that said, I wouldn’t be too upset if he left though. Give me next year’s guards over this year’s. They will be much more suited for the college game. The key will be who we return in the frontcourt.

  28. BBNDan7
    8:56 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    Y’all clearly forget that in the nba all they have to do is practice and play with incredible coaches.

  29. BBNDan7
    8:58 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    You all do realize that even if they go g league the first year they still get guaranteed money of drafted in the first round, right?

  30. a21CATSfan
    9:00 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    I believe most if not everyone will test the waters. Knox, Shai and Hami are gone and I think at least one of the four bigs will leave. Whether it’s Vanderbilt, Washington or Richards taking a chance on the draft or Killeya-Jones transferring. 3 guards gone and 3 more coming in. Maybe EJ Montgomery will either fill the void down low or add to the depth next season. Gonna be a similar year once again.

  31. Rod Crandler
    9:02 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    The problem with mock drafts is they never seem to give enough weight to foreign players because the writers don’t know them. It seems the overseas players always end up knocking down college players several slots than what they were projected.

    • chrisg18
      9:37 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      In my opinion, the mock drafts will have little to no impact on who stays and who goes. It will all be based on the feedback they get going through the process.

  32. UK Fan In Nashville
    9:37 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    Dude. They are all coming back. All of them.

  33. Cmart0907
    10:11 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    Seems like this comment section is full of nba scouts. “They don’t see this or the don’t see that”. Just hoping they come back next year. Take the money and run kids.