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Skal Falls Out of the Lottery




Skal’s draft stock has been dropping steadily since the New Year, but the former #2 projected pick is in uncharted territory.  For the first time Labissiere is projected out of the lottery, dropping five spots to #19.

Falling out of the lottery costs Skal some money, but the fluidity of his fall is what is most concerning.  He hung around the Top 10 until falling fast over the last three weeks.  During that time he’s earned fewer and fewer minutes, giving him less opportunity to prove himself.  Saying that his future is “uncertain” might be the understatement of the year.

Meanwhile, the rest of Kentucky’s potential 2016 draft class remained stagnant.

Cats in Draft Express’ 2016 Mock Draft (Last Week)

7.  Jamal Murray (#7)

19.  Skal Labissiere (#14)

47.  Tyler Ulis (#47)

48.  Isaiah Briscoe (#48)

For the complete 2016 Mock Draft board, click here.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

44 Comments for Skal Falls Out of the Lottery

  1. SoCalCat
    10:41 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    He can’t compete well against college talent. He would certainly be a flyer at best in the late first round by a team that doesn’t need an incoming player to significantly upgrade their roster. He needs at least one to two years to build up his frame to begin to make a difference.

  2. Biglaw Dawgin'
    10:54 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    Heck yeah I’ll take another year of Ulis and Briscoe.

    P.S. – Skal needs more minutes.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      10:57 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

      The minutes skal needs are not gametime minutes, not yet anyway. He needs weight room minutes and practice minutes. Next year he’ll need gametime minutes.

    • Biglaw Dawgin'
      2:16 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Incorrect. In the 8 games where Skal has played over 20 minutes, he’s averaged 13 pts, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. That’s in 24.8 minutes per game of play. THATS PRETTY FRIGGIN GOOD!! Multiply that out to 40 minutes per game and he would be averaging 23 ppg, 8 reb, and 4.5 blocks. That’s POY type numbers. I’m telling you, the dude can play.

    • damage_control
      2:24 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Cmon dude. In most of the games where Skal played 20+ minutes, he was going up against cupcake opponents (Albany, NJIT, Wright St., Boston U, USF, Eastern KY). The only 2 games he played over 20 minutes outside of those were Ark. & OSU. He had 2 pts (1-7) & 5 rbs. I think you’re probably being sarcastic, but if you truly think the only issue for Skal is not enough playing time, you’re delusional.

    • Biglaw Dawgin'
      2:29 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Not being sarcastic. We’re playing Isaac Friggin Humphries and Marcus “Can’t Box Out” Lee over him. Maybe he’s not what we thought he was (a top 10 pick), but he’s certainly not what we’re treating him as (a garbage minutes guy).

  3. Bluebloodtoo
    10:54 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    I kinda see Skal as more like WCS. His athleticism is there, but he needs some time to adapt to the speed of the college game and mature both mentally and physically. He’ll be much better served by learning those things in college, than the D league. For his sake, I hope he stays in college for a few more years and gets a better hold on things before making that big jump. Surely none of the (potential) recruits coming in are worried about him stealing their playing time next year at least.

    • theWilkman
      12:37 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      I agree. Skal had the “Top 2 pick” title placed on him before he ever stepped foot on a college court, which obviously in hindsight was very inaccurate. I’m usually for players getting their money when they can and striking while the iron is hot, but his draft stock is falling so fast (rightfully so) that he strongly needs to reconsider returning. If he does, he needs to know he’s committing for another 2 years, not just one, because he will struggle next season to see the court as well. WCS stayed 3 years and ended up ok, I think Skal can do the same.

      Who knows though, maybe he wants to move back to Haiti? I’m sure a few years of D League money goes a long way down there.

  4. ekywildcat
    10:57 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    When a rebound falls in his hands, my six yo grandson could take it away. He has a nice little jumper, that’s about it. I hope he’s drafted in the first round, but I don’t see it. I would rather have Ulis than two Skals.

  5. Rixter
    10:59 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    I’ve heard Rick Pitino take credit for saving the soul of a city.

    I’ve heard Bill Clinton say he did not have sex with that woman.

    But to hear someone say that Skal might be a first round pick is the most preposterous statement I have ever heard. In my life.

    • cats paw
      11:33 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

      how about Matt Jones saying UK football would own Tennessee and Louisville from this point forward last year??

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:48 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Why are you here then? Go find a board you agree with, cats paw. Duh?

    • J-Dub421
      11:55 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

      How about Pitino saying Marra was the best three point shooter he ever saw?

    • Angelo
      11:57 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

      He is benefiting from Cal’s history of recruiting great players.

  6. mobile2
    11:08 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    I have been brutal towards Skal but this could be the best news he’s had since coming to UK. No longer a lottery pick so that pressure can, if he allows it, fall away.

    He NEEDS at least two more years in college under Cal. Hopefully the people around him will see that and not urge him to go pro this year.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      11:52 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Exactly, let’s please stop thinking of him as a disappointment and start thinking of him as a four year player. With some of his offense as skilled as it already is he is actually a very exciting three or four year prospect.

    • Rixter
      12:37 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Wasn’t Skal seen as a bit of a risky recruit because of the questionable character of his ‘handlers’? Those guys are never going to tell the kid to do what’s best for the kid

  7. Sentient Third Eye
    11:10 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    The decision for Skal will be kind of simple, really. If he’s a first round pick, he goes because that gives him three years paid to develop. If he drops out of the first round, he has to come back because he is nowhere near ready to make an actual roster, which he would have to as a 2nd round pick in order to get paid.

  8. RadioshackGreg
    11:11 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t even know if I want another year of Skal at this point.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      11:54 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

      That is just a dumb point of view in my opinion. The only way I would feel that way about a college kid is if they have a horrible attitude.

    • Stopover
      6:30 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Then you really wanted the Harrison twins to leave early.

  9. memphis
    11:15 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    I keep hearing that Skal needs more minutes. Based on the talent we have staying and coming in next year, please tell me where Skal’s minutes will be.

    • the ghost of Bill Hicks
      12:50 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      The most important minutes he may ever see is going up against more talented players in practice.

  10. RogerW
    11:21 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    How in the world is Ulis only projected to go 1 spot higher than Briscoe?

    • Rixter
      12:38 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink


    • damage_control
      2:12 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Height? Nice snark but no- Briscoe has a more “NBA ready body”, and he has skills that translate well to the next level. Namely, his defense, rebounding, and slashing/finishing at the rim. NBA GM’s all think they can fix someone’s shot. There are some good examples of that (some not-so-good too), so even though at this point Ulis is 10X the overall player and leader that Briscoe is, that doesn’t hold a lot of weight for their developmental arc over the next 10 years.

  11. @BallBlog_Chad
    11:22 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t think you all ever mentioned the mock by CBS a week or so ago, but they had Ulis in the first round. I hope Skal asks Cal for his advice after Cal has a chance to talk to NBA teams after the year.

  12. CalsCats3.0
    11:26 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    Unless Ulis gets injured and can’t do the NBA workouts, he will be gone for sure. Cal has already stated we will have a new point guard running the show next year. The one knock on Ulis is his height and another year at UK isn’t changing that. This is a weak draft class, if he stays another year he will be in the same spot.

    Murray and Ulis are gone. Apparently Poythress is gone as well even though he could apply for a 5th year medical redshirt. I assume he is just ready to make some money in the Dleague or overseas because he doesn’t have a chance in the world of being drafted 1st or 2nd round.

    Skal and Briscoe should come back. Briscoe may have a mindset like Johnson though. He may prefer to make some money in the Dleague vs sticking it out in college until he is a 1st round pick. Briscoe just needs to stick to driving and hitting layups.

    • rabblerabblerabble
      11:38 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

      A medical redshirt for Poy? Wuh wuh wuh whaaaaaaaat?

      I think you can’t play in more than 30% of your team’s games to be eligible for a medical redshirt. Math may not be my strong suit, but I think Alex has played in more than 30% of the games this year.

    • RogerW
      11:53 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Rabble. You are correct. But, He did not play in 30% of the games last year though.

  13. Catlanta Fan
    11:39 am March 1, 2016 Permalink

    You can look at this a few ways. 1.) Maybe this is best for him because if he decides to go and a team is silly enough to draft him, he’ll get paid for 3 years but that’ll be it. After that, it’s overseas or D League. 2.) Maybe he’ll get drafted and make a miraculous turn around during his rookie contract (although I wouldn’t put my $$ on it). 3.)Maybe this will force him to come back and really look at the big picture. He’ll have to think….”Do I want to get NBA checks for years to come or get paid for a few years while playing in the D League or sitting on the end of a bench”? He should not put a time table on things. If I were his coach or guardian, I’d suggest he come back and is commit to gaining about 2 pounds of muscle and developing a mean streak. If that take 1, 2. or 3 more years, then so be it. He obviously has some skill but this game is about more than skill, you gotta have some strength to compliment it. Declaring for the draft could be career suicide for this young man. Whatever he decided, I hope it works out for him!

  14. somerset bill
    12:00 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

    i would think skal’s draftability talk would have stopped by now if it was just uninformed speculation. everyone who is making those predictions and has seen skal is bound to be going back a second and third time to their sources and saying, “you are seeing what i am seeing, right?” as of last week, after a whole season of this, they are still hearing that he is a first round pick, evidently. pretty amazing.

  15. Rixter
    12:32 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

    Did Skal fall out of the lottery, or did somebody put 2 fingers on his back and push him out of the lottery?

  16. Wah Wah
    12:37 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

    I can’t believe dude is still in the 1st Round.

    He’s shown no capacity for College level ball. It will take 4 or 5 years to get him going in the Pros.

  17. Wah Wah
    12:38 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

    Ullis should be higher. Has Curry proved nothing? It isn’t always size that matters.

    • thabeast
      1:38 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Steph Curry is also a good 5 inches taller than Ulis

  18. Rixter
    12:43 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

    Would you say Skal is better than Dakari? Of course not, not even in the same ballpark. And Dakari is cashing checks to the tune of $25k per year in Sioux City Iowa.

  19. Sentient Third Eye
    12:52 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

    Skal has all the skill he needs. His only real problem is his physique. GIve him a few years for his metabolism to slow down, and he’ll be about 30 pounds heavier. THAT Skal will be fine in the NBA.

  20. tomuky
    1:49 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

    Woah hold on… Skal is projected… to BE drafted? At all? Bizarre.

  21. ATX Cat
    2:02 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

    Next year’s roster (what I believe will unfold)

    PG- Fox, Briscoe, Hawkins
    SG- Monk,Mulder
    SF- Willis, Gabriel, Killeya-Jones,Mathews
    PF- Adebayo, Lee, Skal
    C- Bolden, Humphries, Wynyard

    Looks like we might not have enough schollys- It will be interesting to see what Cal does. As long as it isn’t a platoon I am happy

    • damage_control
      2:16 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      Yeah- as long as they don’t do that thing that helped them win the most consecutive games in NCAA history, I’m okay with it!

    • ATX Cat
      8:02 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      I am interested in championships, not regular season wins. GO root for Sex Scandal U if you don’t want championships

  22. jim111
    5:27 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

    How can this be? Call is famous for getting players prepped for the League. Ask the Harrisons or Alex.

    • UK Big Board Update
      7:00 pm March 1, 2016 Permalink

      You left out the other 24 players that got drafted, including JUCO transfer Jorts. What a coincidence.

      And who’s ‘Call’?