After basketball season comes Stay or Go season. This morning, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo released the second version of his NBA Draft Big Board, which ranks the top 60 pro prospects. Three Kentucky Wildcats made the list, but maybe not in the order you would expect. BJ Boston is No. 25, Isaiah Jackson No. 34, and Terrence Clarke No. 47. That’s quite a contrast from the first version of the Big Board, which had Boston No. 6, Jackson No. 29, and Clarke No. 17.
Woo’s comments on Boston and Jackson are about what you’d expect — BJ has been wildly inefficient this season but is still worth a gamble; Jackson is a “freak athlete” but struggles with foul trouble. After the past few weeks, it’s hard for me to see how Jackson actually dropped in these rankings, from No. 29 to No. 34, but maybe Woo didn’t see that dunk vs. Tennessee. More interesting to me are the comments on Clarke, who has been out most of the season with an ankle injury.
A mysterious ankle injury ended Clarke’s season early at Kentucky, and ultimately there are far more questions than answers surrounding his stock as a prospect. He will most likely need to spend time in the G League next season in order for a team to have any real sense of what they have. Concerns about his maturity date back to high school, and Clarke will have to win teams over in interviews—it’s not out of the question, but he’s probably a first-round longshot at this point. He didn’t shoot well, struggled with turnovers, and simply wasn’t able to show much progression over the course of seven college games, in which his team went 1-6. There’s little beyond pedigree keeping Clarke’s stock steady right now. The appeal he held as a big, scoring wing still exists, but banking on him reaching that ceiling requires a lot of optimism.
Regardless, it seems all but certain Clarke — and likely Boston and Jackson — will leave after this season. For more of Woo’s comments, click the link below.