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Only two Wildcats projected as draft picks in latest Big Board

(Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports)

(Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports)

Out of five Kentucky players pursuing their NBA careers – six if you include Kahlil Whitney – could only two wind up being drafted?

As of today, that appears to be the case, at least according to Sam Vecenie of The Athletic.

In his latest NBA Draft Big Board, only two Wildcats were included in the first 60 picks, with two others listed throughout the remainder of the top 100.

Tyrese Maxey – Kentucky’s lone consensus first-round draft choice – came in at No. 15 overall, followed by Immanuel Quickley in the second round at No. 45 overall.

From there, Nick Richards came in at No. 65, right outside of draft contention, with Ashton Hagans further down the list at No. 80 overall.

As expected, neither EJ Montgomery nor Kahlil Whitney were included in the top 100.

Here are Vecenie’s first 15 names expected to come off the board on October 16:

    1. LaMelo Ball, Illawarra Hawks
    2. Anthony Edwards, Georgia
    3. Obi Toppin, Dayton
    4. James Wiseman, Memphis
    5. Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State
    6. Onyeka Okongwu, USC
    7. Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Aviv
    8. Killian Hayes, Ulm
    9. Isaac Okoro, Auburn
    10. Kira Lewis Jr., Alabama
    11. Devin Vassell, Florida State
    12. Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt
    13. Saddiq Bey, Villanova
    14. Cole Anthony, North Carolina
    15. Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky

Earlier this week, the NBA released a list of 105 players who are being considered for the NBA Draft Combine, voted on by NBA general managers.

Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, Tyrese Maxey, Nick Richards, and even Kahlil Whitney received votes for consideration and made the list. In fact, both Hagans and Whitney – two of Kentucky’s biggest fringe draft prospects – confirmed they’ve already received official combine invites.

Noticeably absent from the list? EJ Montgomery.

Now, NBA GMs will whittle the list to 70 players and send out invitations for the event, which is not yet scheduled due to COVID-19.

While Maxey, Quickley, Richards, Hagans, and Whitney will have the opportunity to impress teams and improve draft position during workouts and at the combine, Montgomery continues to be on the outside looking in.

For the entire Draft Big Board, you can find it over at The Athletic here.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

9 Comments for Only two Wildcats projected as draft picks in latest Big Board



  1. Delk4Three
    11:41 am July 29, 2020 Permalink

    Imagine if Cal had utilized Maxey and Quickley as much as Hagans. By the time Cal figured out how to use Quickley the season was canceled.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      12:14 pm July 29, 2020 Permalink

      Cal wasn’t Hagans problem Hagans was. If he would have let the game flow through him and stuck to passing, defending, and only driving to draw a foul or get someone open he would have been great. Instead he tried taking a game over we were already winning by driving into people without the strength to finish, shooting jumpers and 3s he could barely hit, and whining when things didn’t go his way.



  2. bigtaters6957
    12:00 pm July 29, 2020 Permalink

    Constantly bashing Montgomery and Whitney’s decision to leave and turn pro is definitely a good look for recruiting. Especially from potentially the biggest UK Sports Media site.



    • mashburnfan1
      12:36 pm July 29, 2020 Permalink

      Don’t listen to these stupid projections. Just ask all the brainwashed commentators on here, they played for Cal and only Cal can develop guys for the NBA. Shoot Nick was here 3 years, 3 years of Cal development so he should go number 1. All will get drafted in top 20.



  3. PensacolaCat
    12:26 pm July 29, 2020 Permalink

    Quickley was sooooo great last year. Reminds me of Meeks last season.



  4. EastKY-BlueBlood
    1:30 pm July 29, 2020 Permalink

    Not even looking from my normal love and pov, and yet also understood “Big Blue” bias sized Ray Bans, can I see a REAL “BASKETBALL,” reason to EVER select Kira Lewis over Tyrese Maxey!! Lol Just don’t see it! Also, you now see how much the game is changing, that a big man, can have the type of season, and put up the numbers that Nick Richards did this past year, including a stretch of pure dominant numbers, that during that certain period of time, found him at the top of the SEC POY talk!! I don’t like the fact that if a guy has been in college a couple of years, and his stock dropped due to being a blue chip recruit, with high expectations, that if he comes back and develops a lil slower, and finally has that breakout year, (esp BIGS) that it is still almost held against them. If he was a Fr,he would be a lottery pick! Now, don’t get me wrong, I do NOT think Nick is lottery potential!! It is a fact though, if he performed close 2 this he would had been a lottery pk following that Fr. Yr.. I also understand why that is..As in if he done this as a freshman what will he possibly do next. But still, he is a big that proved this year on and with a consistent basis, especially following the OSU game starting with U of L game, all the way through the Seasons end, that he was a big that could score in the low-post, and finish with a nice touch over either shoulder.. He could catch, then pivot and face you up and consistently knock down a 12 to 17 foot jump shot. Not only could he consistently hit free throws at a good %, but he did so at a very high rate for a big! He also did it quiet a few times, during absolute crunch time! Did so by stepping to the line repeatedly without the ball even hitting the rim! He showed the ability to run the floor and not lose his gas tank! He showed the ability to take games over off of the offense glass.. He proved to not be a liability, but instead very disruptive on defense, with the ability to move laterally quick enough to switch 1 through 5, and alter and block shots! He is still young, so I don’t understand not even being on the board at all! I find it hard to believe that someone doesn’t draft him.



  5. Tom Bombadil
    2:15 pm July 29, 2020 Permalink

    I agree with you EastKy wholeheartedly! Nick was dominant and clutch this year. He had a great year! Plus no one else had a 7-footer like him. No way we win 25 games without his clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch of games repeatedly doing it. I think he can be a steal in this draft!
    You show em Nick!!
    CATS!!!



  6. T-Town Cat
    3:25 pm July 29, 2020 Permalink

    If you look at the lack of NBA-level talent, we had last season, you could make the argument that it was one of Cal’s best coaching efforts. We probably wouldn’t have won more than 3 games if the NCAA Tourney was held, but can anyone name a season in which Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, and Vanderbilt had players projected to go higher in the Draft than our best player?



  7. catdaddyd
    11:31 am July 30, 2020 Permalink

    5 of the 15 listed are from the SEC.