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Running Diary of today’s UK-NBA Press Conference


Whether you’re ready for it or not, it’s time, Cats fans. It’s time to send seven of this past season’s eight best players to the NBA draft.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker will each announce their departures today in a press conference from the Joe Craft Center, along with comments from Coach Cal. I have a running diary of the afternoon for you below, so hit refresh to follow along…


2:43: And that’s it. Short and sweet. All seven are gone.

2:41: Devin Booker: “I honestly didn’t think I’d be in this position, this early.”

Girls on campus learn of Devin’s departure….


2:39: “We’re chasing our dreams,” they all say, laughing as they repeat each other’s comments down the line.

2:35: Cal tells the players to stand up if they’re going pro.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 2.37.19 PM

All seven stand. They gone.

2:34: Cal opens things up saying he told them at the beginning of the year he hopes eight of them have this opportunity at the end of the year. Poythress likely being the eighth.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 2.35.06 PM

2:32: Here we go…

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2:26: Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins have arrived to support their brothers. Any chance Ulis cries when Devin Booker says he is leaving? I think yes. In fact, I’ll put money on it.

2:16: From Calipari’s exclusive interview with WKYT: “Jodie Meeks, I thought, made a mistake,” he said, laughing. Obviously, Meeks is doing just fine in the NBA. Cal’s point was to say it’s ultimately up to the players, not him. Would he like some of them back? Absolutely. But each player makes the decision they believe is best their future.

2:13: Marcus Lee, one of two returning players from the platoon system, says don’t worry (about next season, I assume):

2:10: Aaron Harrison Sr. is in attendance, seen here in this photo from Alan Cutler:

Karl Towns Sr. is also in the building.

2:08: As you can see, there are eight chairs at the table, eliminating any last minute hope someone had a change of heart. That’s seven chairs for the departing players and one for John Calipari.

There’s also a ton of seats on the floor for the players’ friends, family and the media.


Article written by Drew Franklin

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

23 Comments for Running Diary of today’s UK-NBA Press Conference

  1. FlySoup
    2:14 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    Is it possible that these students are announcing that they are returning to school? The presser is for them to announce their decision one way or another, right?

    • DT in DC
      2:21 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      That is my hope of all hopes for Dakari and the twins. But it seems unlikely.

  2. SanDiegoCats
    2:14 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    This sucks. Happy for these kids, wish him all the best, appreciate everything they’ve done for the program, but losing 7 underclassmen, not all predicted to go in the first round, is a bummer. Especially when you see players like Nigel Hayes making the decision to return.

  3. DelrayCat
    2:34 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    This is simply the culture Cal has created at Kentucky….like it or not. Personally, I think it sort of stinks. Sure, it is successful, but it really doesn’t endear me to ANY of these players. Regardless, I wish them all great success. Who cares about titles when we have 7 future millionaires to idolize.

    • BigBlueBoom
      2:50 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      Sounds like some of you need some popcorn to go with that salt. I hope the other 2-3 make you all eat ya feet!

    • BigBlueBoom
      2:51 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      oops, didn’t mean that as a reply to your comment

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:53 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      Lets see, WCS was here three years, Poythress is still here for his fourth, the Twins were here for two, Lee, Hawkins and Willis remain, Ulis will be back and we’ll add a few new stars. Final Four 4 out of 5 years, one national title, in the hunt every year, setting records, winning at a high level, the talk of college basketball.

      If these players don’t endear themselves to you, well, thats on you……

    • theSkinny81
      2:57 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      I think its time we go after Izzo. Solid recruiter, great developer of four year guys, great coach, and even greater tournament coach. He won a title back in 2000. Heck, he’s even been to SEVEN Final Fours in the 20 years he’s been at MSU!!


  4. Lip Man 1
    2:35 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    Wish all seven the best of luck and thank them for their efforts. However I’ll be very, very surprised if more than five are actually drafted and frankly only four getting picked seems a good possibility.

    For the other two (or three) they are going to have to live with the consequences of their decision.

  5. HanOfTheBluegrass
    2:36 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    All 7. So be it. Good luck guys.

  6. lexslamman
    2:45 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    *sobs* They grow up so fast! *sobs*

    No, but seriously – if the ‘2-3 players’ that some on here don’t think are ready for the NBA haven’t developed their skills by now under Cal, then the only better place for them to learn is on a roster or in the NBDL. Sometimes people need a trial by fire, and I’m not worried. There are a record number of 5 star high schoolers who have been holding back their announcements waiting for today. Dominos are about to start falling.

  7. American Errorist
    2:51 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    maybe he’s slumping but Karl doesn’t appear to be 6’11”

  8. DT in DC
    2:55 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    I lost the signal of the press conference for a while. What did he say about Alex? Is he considering going or will he definitely be back?

    • Gowcats
      3:01 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      Alex is still considering his options and may still declare. He may or may not be back, but is currently discussing it with his family.

    • DT in DC
      3:06 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      Oh, wow. I really can’t see him going. I hope he doesn’t make that choice.

    • Gowcats
      3:37 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      I believe he has until the 17th to decide, so we shall see. Dakari was still undecided as of yesterday and I thought he may stay, so who knows what will happen wit Alex. Alex has graduated, or is on track to graduate in 3 years at UK.

  9. cayts94
    2:56 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    Cal said to stand up if you are going pro. Cal immediately stands up.

  10. ciggy
    3:33 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    I think the twins made a terrible decision to go. I hope i’m really wrong, but I can’t see them going before the end of the second round.

    • ukbradstith
      3:37 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      They get feedback saying they’ll never really go any higher, so waiting another year or two won’t really help their draft stock. Sucks, but that’s the way it is.

    • WeareBBN
      4:04 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      The twins were projected highest their senior year of high school. They did not even want to be in college. KAT had to go, WCS had to go. Lyles and Booker almost had to based on where they are projected. Dakari and the twins it just seems like they came here thinking one and done and did not want to be in college so why be where you don’t want to be. Only stayed 2 years cause all were not going to be drafted last year for sure, this year is more likely just not guaranteed. Still all 3 could make millions playing overseas and I’m sure would rather do that than stay in school.

  11. bouzoukiman
    3:37 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    Not surprised. I learned not to hold out hope on ANY of these players when Brandon Knight went after 1 year. I thought he would stay at least 2 because he was such a tremendous student. Instead he went and TJ stayed. I had thought it was going to be the opposite.

    I just tell myself they’re all going, and if someone stays, great. If not, I haven’t set myself up for a letdown.

    • ukbradstith
      3:38 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      I’m still let down even though that’s the same thing I tell myself lol

    • bouzoukiman
      4:50 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

      Well, same here, but the letdown for me is more because we didn’t win it all. Guys leaving is easier to take if we finish the job.