Now that the basketball season is behind us and spring is upon us, it is time to dust off the crystal ball and look into the near future for UK athletics.
Who will stay? Who will go? Who’s coming? What’s next for football?
All the answers can be found below:
De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk will hire agents and enter the NBA draft.
Considering they are going to be two of the first 10 names called in the draft, it is a no-brainer that Fox and Monk have each played their last game in a Kentucky uniform. Both are projected as high as fifth on the board, depending which mock draft you prefer.
Confidence Level: Couldn’t Be More Confident
Bam Adebayo will also hire an agent and enter the NBA draft.
Adebayo isn’t projected as high as Fox or Monk, but he will also hear his name called in the first round of the draft.
NBADraft.net currently has him going No. 16 to Miami, while DraftExpress projects him at No. 30 to Utah. Chad Ford over at ESPN ranks him as the 19th-best available prospect.
Confidence Level: Almost A Sure Thing
Isaiah Briscoe is gone as well.
Briscoe waited until the very last minute to decide to return last year, and it’s unlikely he will make that same decision again. He has had two seasons to make his case for the NBA; unfortunately, his game doesn’t translate well to that level, which is why he is not among Ford’s top 100 prospects.
Knowing what I know about Briscoe, I still expect him to make the jump to professional basketball, wherever that may be. He can still play his way onto an NBA roster, but I do not expect to see him on the Kentucky basketball roster in 2017-18.
Confidence Level: Very, Very Confident
Hamidou Diallo will go to the combine.
I fully expect Hamidou Diallo to be starting for John Calipari next season and I cannot wait to see what he can do on the floor as a freshman with six additional months of preparation. But I do think he will test the NBA waters to get a feel for the process so he is better prepared when he does make the jump this time next year.
Any other year and he may go ahead and leave with good feedback; this year, however, there are too many proven guards in the draft for him to go as high as he will next summer.
Confidence Level: Complete Guess
Mohamed Bamba will commit to UK.
If today were decision day for Mo Bamba, I would be shocked if he committed to anywhere but Kentucky. The coaching staff is very confident in their position with the five-star big man and I think they are expecting to add him whenever he does decide.
However, Bamba has said he will take his time in making a final decision, so anything could happen between now and the day he chooses to announce.
Confidence Level: Very Confident (As Of This Moment)
Kevin Knox will not commit to UK.
Knox will announce his decision during his spring break (Apr. 8-16) and I will freely admit I don’t know the first thing about what is going on in his head. But Duke and North Carolina are high on his list so I’ll play the pessimist in predicting how this plays out, although Kentucky is still in the mix.
Confidence Level: Guess/Playing The Odds
Football spring game attendance will be down.
Despite the excitement around the program following the upset of Louisville and the school’s first bowl berth since 2010, don’t expect an increase in fan attendance at this year’s Blue-White game on Friday, April 14.
I have been told ticket distribution has underwhelmed so far (although it will spike as the game gets closer) and my guess is that is due several factors: Keeneland season; Good Friday; the game is televised on the SEC Network; and being a Friday, not everyone can take off work in time to make it to Lexington.
Last year’s attendance was reported at 28,441. This year it could reach that number, but unlikely it exceeds it.
Confidence Level: Please Prove Me Wrong, BBN