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Kentucky the biggest winner of the early-entry deadline

(© Thomas J. Russo | Getty)

(© Thomas J. Russo | Getty)

(© Thomas J. Russo | Getty)

At this point, saying Kentucky was the biggest winner of the underclassmen draft deadline is like saying Rich Brooks enjoys the occasional tomato, but it’s Monday, which means the national media is recapping who went and who stayed after the deadline last night. Both CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish and ESPN’s Andy Katz put the Cats right at the top of the winners list.

CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish


The Wildcats entered this offseason with eight prospects who could’ve reasonably declared for the NBA Draft, but only two of them (Julius Randle and James Young) actually did, which is a better outcome for UK than most predicted. As recently as early March, almost nobody thought Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison or Willie Cauley-Stein would return for another year of college, but each is returning for another year of college, and the result means UK will — you ready for this? — have nine McDonald’s All-Americans on its roster, and either nine or 10 dudes (depending on what you think of Tyler Ulis) who project as NBA players someday. Needless to say, that’s why the Wildcats will be No. 1 in all reputable preseason rankings — because they have tons of talent and enough experience to avoid the early speed bumps they endured last season before marching to the national title game.

ESPN’s Andy Katz

Kentucky: The Wildcats could have been starting from scratch again next season. The players would have had plenty of reason to bolt after making the national title game. But only two did, and the Wildcats can absorb the losses of Julius Randle and James Young. The decisions by Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee to stay, coupled with newcomers Trey Lyles and Karl Towns Jr., give Kentucky a deeper and more versatile frontcourt. The return of guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison means coach John Calipari doesn’t need to restart his perimeter. Kentucky is probably the only program in the country that can be in the winners column by losing two lottery picks because of the NBA draft-level depth of the freshman and sophomore classes.

Other winners? Parrish lists Wisconsin and Louisville, while Katz’s list is much longer, and includes Wisconsin, UNC, Louisville, Arkansas, Nebraska, West Virginia, Oregon, and Utah. Of course, if you ask a Louisville fan, the Cards are at the top, and Montrezl Harrell once ate seventeen raw eggs before running a four-minute mile and saving three babies on the way to church.

Cats, Cats, Cats.

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.

19 Comments for Kentucky the biggest winner of the early-entry deadline

  1. js2
    7:08 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

    The link for Gary Parrish is not correct.

    7:09 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

    I know this is a bot off topic, but I want to hear about what you think about the 3 man nex year. Losing James, and getting everything but a 3 next year. I suggest putting Aaron at some points or converting Alex. Derek Willis may have to step up more than we actually thought, too. What’s your all’s take?

    • Morehead Cat
      8:04 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

      Poythress will probably be the first option. Trey Lyles can play the 3 too, his mid-range/perimeter game is underrated for a 6’10 PF. Aaron Harrison is a good choice too, especially with an Andrew, Aaron, Ulis/Booker lineup. Endless possibilities

    • Delk for 3
      8:23 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

      Booker can play the 3 as well. The kid has enough height and strength to handle himself at that spot.

    • Morehead Cat
      8:27 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

      Oh definitely, Booker is somehow starting to get lost in the fray. He’s gonna be great too

    • Blue Jesus
      8:44 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

      I bet we’ll see a lot of a lineup with Andrew and Aaron, along with Booker/Ulis. With Ulis, he and Aaron share ball handling duties, while with Booker we have two big time threats from three (and both Aaron or Booker could play the “3” position). Also of course Hawkins could go with the twins, if there’s someone we want shut down for a few minutes.

  3. Ukcatzfan
    7:19 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

    LOOSERVILLE all time record


    Not the 1728-875 official record because
    The REFS cost them the 875 losses

    • arlo
      8:10 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

      if you’ve ever visited their message boards you know this is true.

  4. MadvilleCatFan
    7:34 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

    WILDCAT4 don’t quote me on this but I think Cal has already expressed that he will put Alex at the three, at least at the start.

    • Delk for 3
      8:25 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

      It will all depend on what Cal wants to do regarding strategy. If he plays smaller, he will play Aaron or Booker there. If he plays big, it will be Poythress or Lyles there.

  5. catfan4life
    8:18 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

    Trey Lyles is a player! UK fans are going to love this young man and he can play numerous positions plus hit this free throws well in the all star games.

    • Delk for 3
      8:22 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

      I agree. I also believe the same about each of the new recruits. I believe many (especially Matt) are underestimating how good this class is and how good these individual players are. In my opinion, they are going to be great.

  6. Jack Samms
    8:26 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink had a grat article on Kentucky too over the weekend – good, praise, good breakdown, def worth a read BBN:

    • Luther
      10:11 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

      Thanks! Excellent article!!

    • RP's facelift
      10:20 am April 29, 2014 Permalink

      Make room for the Fab 9.

  7. Maxbps9
    9:02 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

    Why is no one giving any respect to Derek Willis or Dominique Hawkins? Both have proven they can play w/ McD/5-star All-Americans. And T Ullis will usher in a new nba-era of quickness over heigth and power.

  8. Jud
    9:39 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink

    Cal said he is looking at playing NBA rotation; 1st team plays for x minutes, the whistles sounds and in comes team 2 for y minutes in the first and second half. I think this is a great idea.

    • Luther
      9:54 pm April 28, 2014 Permalink


  9. KevinM
    12:51 pm April 29, 2014 Permalink

    If you think Ulis is NBA questionable, you haven’t watched Cousins teammate Isiah Thomas. Guy will be getting minutes this year to mix up the tempo.

    And I’m betting that Cal gives Karl Towns a look at the 3. That would be the biggest frontline in college history. Towns looks like he’s facing the basket at the next level.