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UK’s Frontcourt Takes a Hit in Draft Express’ New Mock Draft

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UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Once a consensus Top Five pick, Skal Labissiere is barely hanging on to the lottery in Jonathan Givony’s latest 2016 mock draft.  It took awhile for Skal’s play to push him down the line, but now he’s falling, and fast.  If continues to slide and falls out of the lottery, it can make a huge difference in pay and whether or not he’ll decide to stay and play.

Marcus Lee isn’t so different, beginning this year as an early second rounder.  Now for the second straight update, Lee isn’t on the big board.

Where the Cats Fall (Last Ranked)

7.  Jamal Murray to New Orleans, (#8)
14. Skal Labissiere to Houston (#10)
47.  Tyler Ulis to Dallas (#51)
48.  Isaiah Briscoe to Chicago (#32)

Even though the order in which the teams will pick is far from being set, you can’t help but get excited when you think about Anthony Davis and Jamal Murray teaming up.

The 2017 NBA Draft seems so far away that I’m not even sure what Givony takes into account.  Nonetheless, it is still filled with Wildcats.

2017 Draft Projections

4.  De’Aaron Fox
8.  Bam Adebayo
15.  Malik Monk

Article written by Nick Roush

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

26 Comments for UK’s Frontcourt Takes a Hit in Draft Express’ New Mock Draft

  1. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    12:50 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

    I forsee EJ Floreal losing his scholarship and going back to walk on status. If Lee and Skal have to return that is the only way to make all this work…especially if Bolden or the Turk come.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      12:58 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      Bam, Gabriel, Killeya, Monk, Fox, Humphries, Tai, Matthews, Mulder, Willis, Hawkins…That leaves two scholarships for Ulis, Lee, Skal, Briscoe, Floreal, the Turk, or Bolden…

    • kvltclassic
      1:32 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      Floreal can get free tuition from his dad being an employee.

    • @BallBlog_Chad
      2:28 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      on the 2 schollys for the 7 you listed, I’d say Ulis & Skal to the NBA, Lee transfers as a graduate student, Floreal back to PWO, Briscoe takes 1 and the other goes to a new center recruit

      also a chance if Mulder can transfer as a graduate student, he may want to spend his senior season somewhere he’ll get more playing time

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      2:36 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      Is Lee graduating? I’m not sure I see him transferring but who knows? I considered Matthews and Mulder to be transfer candidates.

  2. jman3715
    1:17 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

    Projections won’t pan out for Skal. They might talk him up and play the game with other scouts but when push comes to shove, no one is giving up a first round pick on Skal unless he has a remarkable turn around. It would also help him to return so it’s better for him in the long run if he does. My fear is he will listen to the projections and go.

    • DelrayCat
      1:43 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      I agree… these online draft “experts” are not GMs whose livelihoods depend on accurate projections. The last actual NBA exec I saw quoted said he absolutely must stay in school. His best route would be to stay in school. However, unfortunately for Skal, UK is only going to continue to get great players…so he may need to look elsewhere or just take the risk and enter the draft. My guess if he does, he ends up like Daniel Orton, Andrew Harrison, D. Lamb, Marcus Teague, etc. and never sets foot on an NBA floor other than a few cursory looks only to wash out after making maybe a million or so tops. He just might be better served to stay in school, work hard, maybe get a degree, and then try his luck in the NBA in a couple of years once he have proved a bit more. Admittedly, its a tough call.

    • catdaddyd
      7:24 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink has Jamal going in top 10, Alex going in 2nd round. No Skal at all.

  3. Biglaw Dawgin'
    1:20 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

    I’ve been saying this for weeks, but Skal has got to get more minutes. Not only because he’s a better option than Lee & Humphries, but if nothing else, to keep him draft relevant, which helps us in other aspects.

    He played only 9 minutes against A&M and that was with Lee & Humphries fouling out and Willis (mostly) and Poythress injured. And the game went to OT! 9 dang minutes! This wasn’t an anomaly. He only played 14 min against UT, 16 against SC, 18 against GA, 15 against UF, etc. The dude hasn’t played a full game (25+ minutes) since USF, which was six games into the season. Put him in there for a full game and let’s see what he’s got. I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much better he’s gotten.

    • mobile2
      1:39 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      If Cal thought he could help the team then Skal would get more PT. Clearly he’s not earned it.

      Unfortunately Skal is a liability because he’s so weak and still looks lost on the court.

    • Game Changer
      1:56 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      Hate to be so rude… but what kinda crack are you smoking. Skal is the biggest bust in the history of college basketball. I can not think of another top 3 ranked player out of high school in the past 20 to 30 years who has been a bigger flop than him. He is simply just not good… plain and simple… no time, practice, bulking up…etc will help. I hope for our sake he transfers to maybe EKU or some Division II program where he can at least get a college education out of this. Otherwise he will cost us a scholarship for a player who will average 2 points/ 2 rebounds/ and 5 fouls for his entire 4 year career at UK…. mark my words.

    • plt
      2:05 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      Biglaw, that’s certainly one opinion on Skal’s impact and PT. It’s wrong, but it’s an opinion.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      2:47 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      Game Changer, I think you are wrong. Skal has some nice offensive moves and if he stayed at UK all four years he would certainly become a factor.

    • J-Dub421
      2:49 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      Game Changer, by your rational Willis should have transferred to a DII school after his freshmen year because he sucked then. He played less and his numbers were worse than Skal’s currently are as a freshman. Players can and do improve. I am glad Willis stayed and that his hard work is paying off, and I’m willing to bet that Skal will do the same.

    • Biglaw Dawgin'
      3:30 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      Skal was averaging 15 points and 2.33 blocks per game during his first 6 games–back when he was actually playing. That’s not bad. Not to mention he was top 10 in the nation in blocks. Pretty dang good actually. Then his minutes dropped off. After his sixth game, he’s played 25+ minutes only once, and he scored in double figures that game. He’s not a bust, he just needs more PT.

    • The Professor
      4:35 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      You can’t give more minutes to Skal. He is fouling out in the few minutes he is given now.

    • Game Changer
      11:16 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      poor logic all around… first of all he had those good stats at the beginning of the season against high school teams with their tallest players being 6’6″. You can’t compare him to Willis… Willis just could not learn the system, he was athletic, he could shoot the three, but he did not rebound because he did not know where to be on the floor. Skal can’t rebound… he is skinny and weak and gets pushed around by guards Ulis’s size. His frame is not built to gain weight, and he is mentally soft. The skinny kid from Duke is the same size but he is got a lil thug in him… Skal just walked out of the chess club and hasn’t lost his virginity yet. Case closed.

    • J-Dub421
      11:56 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      Skal is inexperienced due to having not played in America for very long. He has a nice jumper with range and will gain weight as he gets older.

      Willis didn’t put in the work for the first two years because he was being lazy. He himself has admitted this. I’ve never heard Skal’s work ethic be questioned.
      Case not closed. Stop expecting Skal to be a finished product as a freshman.

  4. DelrayCat
    1:30 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

    I really don’t know what games you’ve been watching. When he does play he doesn’t rebound. His reaction time is so slow and he gets pushed around under the basket so easily. He simply has very little feel for basketball at this level. And Cal simply cannot afford to play a big who cannot rebound. And with his minimal shot-blocking, and tendency to want to roam outside the lane,he does not deserve minutes over a banger and rebounder like Humphries. No way.

  5. Kevin C
    2:04 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

    I’m sure Ant would LOVE to have Murray join him in N.O. ; likewise, Jamal would probably flourish with Ant as his teammate and mentor.

  6. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    2:18 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

    Ulis could go to the Spurs and I would not complain at all.

  7. kyjohn
    2:22 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

    Hopefully Skal will go in the NBA draft and learn the game in the “D” league.He has the potential and some NBA team will discover it.

  8. ekywildcat
    2:25 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

    How so many people could have misjudged Skals talent, I’ll never understand. I read or heard somewhere that Skal dominated Ben Simmons at some Hoops Summit in his senior year. How was that possible and for him to suck so bad now?

    • ukbradstith
      3:57 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink


      I watched the Hoops Summit. First off, Ben Simmons was on THE SAME TEAM as Skal and Jamal Murray. I don’t know why Matt keeps saying he dominated Ben Simmons. The world team beat team USA. Murray had 30, and he was awesome. Skal was next with like 21 points, 6 rebounds and 6 blocks. Simmons still had a decent game. That is a competitive game, more than just a regular all star game. Skal looked pretty awesome going up against the best players in the USA.

  9. DT in DC
    3:56 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

    And can’t Alex come back next year if he decides to put in for a redshirt year for last year? Or did that ship already sail?

    • RealCatsFan
      4:05 pm February 23, 2016 Permalink

      Don’t think that’s an option for Alex, and I think he is done with college BB. He will have a masters degree, I think, so he will either take that to start a career, or more likely, try to get into the NBA via the D-league or play several years overseas. Players can make a very good living playing overseas. Pretty good deal – experience another culture and broaden your horizons, while making hundreds of thousands and getting most of your expenses paid by the team. After you save up a nice nest egg, move back to the states, start a career, family, etc. Alex will do quite well for himself, I predict. Smart kid!