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NBA Draft expert shares the latest buzz on UK’s NBA hopefuls

Over behind The Athletic‘s pay wall today, you can find a good story from Sam Vecenie, the site’s NBA draft expert, on what he learned from being in Las Vegas around several NBA scouts last week. The Kentucky players are a big part of his report; some good, some not so good.

I won’t steal Vecenie’s content here (you should go read it, if it’s in your budget) but I will pass along one interesting note on one of the three Wildcats he discussed in length. In his section dedicated to Kahlil Whitney, Vecenie’s first two sentences read, ‘I’m not sure what to even say at this point. Whitney does not look like a one-and-done, despite five-star status and considerable tools at his disposal.” 

Sounds about right. Like all of us, Vecenie doesn’t see Whitney going anywhere after this year. “Right now, I’d say Whitney should be unpacking his bags for a second season in Lexington,” he wrote.

As for the other two Wildcats in the NBA draft conversation, Vecenie still hears positive things from the scouting community about Tyrese Maxey, and considers the UK freshman to be a top-10 pick. He sees Ashton Hagans as Kentucky’s next best prospect as a fringe first-rounder with potential to be a valuable backup PG in the league.

There is no mention of Nick Richards or EJ Montgomery.

[Draft Buzz: What I’m hearing after spending time with NBA execs in Vegas]

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

14 Comments for NBA Draft expert shares the latest buzz on UK’s NBA hopefuls



  1. Dustin Rumbaugh
    2:38 pm December 26, 2019 Permalink

    What happened to the Michael Kidd Gilchrist/Anthony Davis/Jamal Murray/Fox kids that we used to get? The ones that really bought into the work and the whole “Kentucky isn’t for everyone” mentality? We don’t have that anymore. That’s what I miss. The kids that had all the tools that god could give them but they still brought that Virginia Tech lunch pail every day to work. Love my boys but I’m a little ashamed at their work ethic this year. So many problems would get cured with time in the gym together.



    • natedaddy
      11:39 am December 27, 2019 Permalink

      I made a comment similar to this on another article a couple weeks ago, and the KSR powers that be deemed it not suitable for posting.

      Anyone who thinks recruiting hasn’t slipped the last few years is delusional. We used to get NBA ready talent, who were consistent and brought it every night.

      Now we just get guys who think they’re NBA ready, inconsistent or don’t play hard every night then usher them off to the pros anyway.



    • bdwest79
      12:24 pm December 27, 2019 Permalink

      I was just talking to my brother about this. To me it seems our frontcourt recruits have slipped since Antiqua left. When you look at the post Antiqua recruits vs the Antiqua recruits, it’s no comparison.



  2. slam212121
    3:12 pm December 26, 2019 Permalink

    I wouldn’t question their work ethic because we don’t see the exact work they put in. I simply see a talent level that’s not quite what it used to be at the top tier for this class which shows on the court against non-P5 schools and the inability to dominate or sometimes even win against those.

    Next years class appears to be a bounce-back. The real question is the log jam that’s about to occur when there’s no mass exodus following this season! What to do?



  3. classof68
    3:37 pm December 26, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t see any reason to be excited about the recruits who have committed for next year. At least so far. They’re about on par with the ones from last year.



    • tncatrn
      7:00 pm December 26, 2019 Permalink

      Ok so every recruiting expert I have read agrees this years class is the worst from a talent perspective in years…and among this class we didn’t even get the best there was to get….and those same experts agree that next years class is loaded from a talent perspective…and where we did not get the top tier guys this class we absolutely did in the next one….this one is lackluster at best…lol I guess somebody has to get the five star rankings



  4. dave1964
    6:14 pm December 26, 2019 Permalink

    I do not see EJ being a Wildcat next season and think Richards will try overseas or some other options don’t see him back as well.



  5. Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
    7:16 pm December 26, 2019 Permalink

    I’m convinced Cal only took Whitney Because Chris Mack wanted him. Mack had recruited the kid since he was at Xavier and when he was not even a top 150 recruit. And Cal basically didn’t recruit him until he jumped to a top 20ish recruit, which I understand. Cal did the same thing with Derrick Willis. Mack ended up with the Williamson kid, so guess it worked out for Loserville.



    • JASUN74
      12:09 am December 27, 2019 Permalink

      Sorry but no!! Cals doesn’t recruit to keep a player from anyone. Come on man!!! Lmao. That was pretty funny though!



  6. Blueballz
    9:23 pm December 26, 2019 Permalink

    Khalil about to be a Top 5 pick after Camp Cal! Coach gonna teach him how to be a pro these next few weeks. He will avg. 25 points a game and dominate the lil brothers of the SEC! You don’t like it? Go root for another team like Indiana losers



    • kjd
      9:42 pm December 26, 2019 Permalink

      Blue: the same, tired line, go root for someone else.
      There is zero indication of a vast improvement occurring with Whitney. Keep the blue glasses on. You’ll feel good until the disappointing end.



  7. sharpshooter81
    9:42 pm December 26, 2019 Permalink

    In my opinion, I truly don’t see any NBA players on this roster at this time.



  8. kjd
    9:43 pm December 26, 2019 Permalink

    Why would Maxey be a top ten pick?