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Zero Wildcats Crack the First Round of the 2019 NBA Mock Draft

Since John Calipari arrived at Kentucky, Kentucky Sports Radio dot com has shared thousands of mock drafts filled with Kentucky Wildcats, who are usually featured at the top of the lottery.  That was then, this is now.

We live in a world where Kentucky basketball players aren’t the most hyped NBA draft prospects.  In the first 2019 NBA Mock Draft by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, three Duke players sit atop the big board: R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson.  You will not find a Kentucky player until you reach the first pick of the second round.

31. Jarred Vanderbilt
50. Nick Richards

We’ve learned over the years that “expert” opinions and mock drafts don’t directly translate to on-court production.  Plenty will change between now and next year.  This isn’t something that should make you lose any sleep.

However, it’s quite a shock to see little to no hype surrounding Cal’s Cats.  You could understand why the “experts” might not be bullish about UK’s sophomore class, but to not see anyone in featured from UK’s incoming class?  That just doesn’t happen.

For Calipari’s one and done philosophy to be successful, he needs to play with the most talented players in the country.  If Cal only has two second round picks on next year’s team, Kentucky could be in trouble.



Article written by Nick Roush

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

48 Comments for Zero Wildcats Crack the First Round of the 2019 NBA Mock Draft

  1. UK Fan In Nashville
    10:24 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    After Knox and Diallo announce they’re coming back we’ll see a few more first rounders for next year.

    • the ghost of Bill Hicks
      11:27 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      No thanks on Hami coming back.

    • FACTS
      3:51 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink


    • bd2153
      7:43 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Watch last night ESPN had three uk players Knox at 12, Alexander at 18 and great athlete Hami at 25.

    • Booby Petrino
      11:32 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Doubt Knox will but that would be awesome. Definitely hope Hami does, cuz you know…we are tired of one and dones around here. Here’s to all of you who complain about one and dones and then say you hope a player doesn’t return.

    • henderblue
      12:19 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      What Booby said^^^^

    • FACTS
      3:53 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      I want the best and most talented like a Jamal Murray but I want them to stay for at least 2 years. I also want players like Tyler is that are Skilled and have a High IQ for basketball.

    • 4everUKblue
      2:06 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      What henderblue said Booby said^^^^

    • the ghost of Bill Hicks
      4:52 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Hami is a way better athlete than he is a basketball player and it’s not even close. Maybe Stoops could use him.

  2. Catcasey1
    10:25 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    Believe it or not that is a good thing

  3. KYjellyRoll
    10:26 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    Oh never know! These kids could turn the corner and we could see 3 go in the first round?!

  4. secrick
    10:28 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    Crap Nick talking about making a mountain out of a mole hill. Calm Down.

  5. luke_emberton
    10:28 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    then it’s time to change your philosophy it’s time to get 3/4 year guys and go after a couple of super star one and dones

    • unbridled
      10:30 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      That’s not really how it works.

    • ClutchCargo
      10:36 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Because you can always have total control over which of those superstars you can reel in? Got it.

    • unbridled
      10:42 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Exactly clutch cargo. Not to mention the fact that Uber elite players will have no interest playing with sub standard project players. Also, that formula doesn’t seem to be consistently working anywhere else. Uk is in the hunt annually because of the one and done model. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it….and if you think an outlying year or 2 is evidence that it doesn’t work, you are clueless.

    • UK Big Board Update
      1:12 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Well said, unbridled.

  6. 96ChampionBestTeamEver
    10:33 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    “For Calipari’s one and done philosophy to be successful, he needs to play with the most talented players in the country.”

    While this is stating the obvious this is the most important question. The answer seems to be trending toward Cal not landing his first choice recruit, but instead having to settle for his 2nd and 3rd choice. It is bizarre how this started to happen all of a sudden. I’m more concerned about this than having an off season because recruiting elite talent is what the entire system under Cal is built around. Take that away and add to it a conference that is going to be awesome for the foreseeable future and yes, I’m more concerned than ever.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      10:48 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      The reason recruiting dropped, in simple and only two things happen. Number one 2015. Recruits began to see the platoon as a problem, but more importantly with numerous first round picks, and all stars like towns, boomer, WCS, they could not win it all. It began to show the possibility of what many have always thought, but Calipari simply is not a great coach. Follow that up with this past summer with team USA, and Calipari handpicking this team of the best talent in the world, and again losing. The first coach do that in 16 years. After team USA, reddish, Barrett, and Zion, Who had all been present heavy Kentucky favorites, went somewhere else. To make it worse, they all went to Duke. However, Kentucky still had but was considered a very I wanted class with extremely talented forwards, and as we continue to struggle, and tumble, the high-end recruits are now being screamed at by other coaches to show again that Calipari is not a great coach.
      I personally think that Calipari is a top five coach in the college game. He is an amazing ambassador for the program, and without question a top recruiter. However, most of us of been saying for a long time that when we get to the point that UK does not have a senior night, be fantastic success with the window. Duke is not learning the hard way, even with all of their All-Star, you can’t get them to play defense you can’t get them to consistently play team ball and they even have juniors and seniors Liitered on the roster.
      If Duke wins the championship again this year giving him three national championships in the Calipari era, we will literally just have to pray for that man to retire before we start regaining your composure. But if Calipari can turn this team around and make a deep run in the tournament, and something crazy happens the booth and they get beat. Next year will see another uptake

    • Jiminy Crickets
      11:42 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Duke is NOW learning the hard way. Voice texting sucks

  7. ClutchCargo
    10:34 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    A 2019 mock draft in February 2018 is even more pointless than the preseason bracketology crap. It’s a bunch of guesses that is based on a bunch of other guesses.

  8. DelrayCat
    10:37 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    The luster has worn off.
    Only downhill from here toward consistent mediocrity.

  9. cmgormanjr1
    10:37 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    I disagree with some of this post. Calapari’s teams would be better and more prepared for deep runs if players like Briscoe, the Harrison twins, Humphrie’s and this entire team returns next year and I could name many more…. I know Kevin Knox is leaving-but he shouldn’t. I love UK Basketball and I love everything Coach Cal has done to make UK relevant again. Without his arrival, we still may be swimming in mediocrity. However- I do feel that Calapari does push or allow some of these kids to leave under false evaluations of their real abilities to succeed at the NBA level in order to get to the next recruiting class. I also understand that kids and sometimes parents are eager for the next step due to finances, but many should have stayed, played and gotten better before they jumped into the draft, G League or overseas prematurely. Most teams that make deep runs into the NCAA Tournament are older, lesser skilled players than what Cal normally has unless it’s Towns, Davis, Cousins, Fox, Monk, Booker, Murray, etc. When the UK roster is full of 2nd round talent, our youth cannot compete with those type teams. That’s our reality now at UK.

    • Catsby80
      10:51 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      I had this conversation with a good friend of mine over the weekend… While I appreciate your well-thought out post, I disagree about cal pushing kids out or “allowing” them to leave. I really don’t think Cal pushes guys out unless they’re going to be lottery picks. I honestly believe that. Because at that point, what do you have to gain by returning? So you go from the number 7 pick to the number 4 pick? Is there really a difference? Is the risk of coming back worth “maybe” jumping up 3 spots?

      On the topic of Humphries & Briscoe – I think those guys were just ready to leave. Not ready from a basketball standpoint, but ready from a mental standpoint. Briscoe had his mind made up that when he didn’t leave after his freshman year that he was leaving after his sophomore season regardless. He wanted to be a one and done and when he found out that he wasn’t going to be, he had mentally made the decision to leave regardless of where/if he would be drafted. Humphries, I believe, was home-sick and just wanted to get back to Australia. Could Cal have convinced him to come back? Maybe. But why would you want someone here who doesn’t want to be here?

      The guy I look to the most over the Cal era who fits this bill of leaving when the shouldn’t have is Dakari Johnson. He is a guy who was drafted 48th overall and had absolutely zero business leaving. In my opinion, he is exactly what the 15-16 ‘cats needed, plus he would have absolutely dominated the paint in a year when there were no quality big men in college basketball. He is a guy who could have gone from 48th overall to a lottery pick with absolutely no doubt in my mind.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      11:00 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      I honestly do not think that Calipari pushes his players out. I do think that if he thinks there is any chance that they get drafted, he encourages them to go, and actually I respect that. 99% of these kids have zero future outside of basketball, and if I get the chance to sign even one contract for $3 million, what difference does it make if they don’t get a second contract? I understand the “develop” argument, but any NBA basketball player will tell you that you develop more in the NBA than you ever do in college. This is because they no longer have to worry about classes or any outside activities other than basketball. Most NBA players especially in the first three years play basketball nonstop for the attempt to develop in order to get that second contract. What we have had, our players with delusions of grander, especially Briscoe, but others to like Aaron Harrison Who were going to leave regardless of what their draft stock, or what Calipari told them. That too is a byproduct of the one and done. If you come here as a high-level McDonald’s All-American recruit, and are on draft boards in the preseason, when it comes time to decide for the NBA draft, you almost feel as though you have to go or you will be basically considered a failure

    • Jiminy Crickets
      11:07 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      And in the case, of guys like Harrelson, or Humphreys they knew without question that they either have to go or their opportunity window would literally closer look at Harrelson for example, he had a fantastic season one of the best, but Anthony Davis was coming, and Terrence Jones was returning. Exactly when would Harrelson play? There’s opportunity had to happen then and you got no choice but to try

    • J-Dub421
      11:25 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Harrelson was a senior. He graduated and had no eligibility left.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      11:46 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

      U got me there, my mistake, but the idea is the same with Johnson, liggins, Goodwin, lamb, etc

    • J-Dub421
      12:17 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Your other points are good. Some players just don’t like school, and others need the money. I don’t know why some people think Cal pushes players out. He can’t tie them down and make them stay if they don’t want to.

  10. Catsby80
    10:52 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    why do comments await moderation? I left a thoughtful response with zero negativity, profanity, etc. How are people supposed to have a dialogue when you can’t even leave a response to a post?

  11. Danny44324
    10:55 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    So why are we worried about 2019 draft? February 2018 people. KSR must be hurting for writing material.

  12. unbridled
    11:15 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    Coach cal has no authority as to who stays and who goes. He leaves the decision to the players and that’s how it should be. If I guy is a lottery pick…I sure as hell hope he pushes them out the door, because in essence they have won the lottery and have zero reason to return. We can second guess a players decision all we want but the fact remains the overwhelming majority of them are currently making more money playing basketball than most of us could ever dream of.

  13. hillbilly cat
    11:28 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    Finally, an end to the mass exodus. We will have a much more consistent program if we only have 1 or 2 one and done’s each year surrounded by solid upper classmen. This will also help kids stay and fulfill important rolls on the team.

  14. binarysolo
    11:30 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    Sooooo if getting 5 guys drafted in the first round is the biggest day in Kentucky basketball history…

  15. Booby Petrino
    11:33 am February 13, 2018 Permalink

    So many Eeyores on KSR these days. Kinda entertaining, kinda not.

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:46 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      A very vocal minority. When talking to normal human beings in everyday life, no one I talk to even comes close to this type of chicken little pessimism.

  16. bigbluehank
    1:31 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

    This probably grinds Cal’s gears more than some of his team’s recent losses. Adding new players to the “Mural of NBA Former Cats” in the Craft Center is the reason he’s in the business. Hopefully this particular mock draft doesn’t distract him from leading this team to the always-feared 8 seed in the tourney.

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:46 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      We beat you by like 29 points. Oh, and you hired hookers and paid players.

    • bigbluehank
      4:46 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Hey guy, big Cats fan here. A little confused by your comment. Could you clarify?

    • UK Big Board Update
      6:28 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      I mean, obviously….

    • bigbluehank
      7:43 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

      Interesting that at the slightest hint of anti-Cal commentary, you immediately assume it’s from a UL fan. It’s more than acceptable to be a fan of a team, yet still be critical of it.

  17. TonyMontana
    2:00 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

    I would love to have zero guys drafted in the 2019 class. That would give us a hell of a team the next season. Unfortunately… Keldon Johnson, Quickley & Tyler Herro can come in and all have great seasons and be projected in that first round. We saw it happen with Shai and I wouldnt be surprised to see any of these 3 land on that list, but I would definitely prefer them to stick around for a couple of seasons. Thats what we really need here. Top 10 Players? Nah… we dont need that. Maybe 1 a season, but if we can get some solid 4* or lower 5* guys that actually stay a few years, then we’ll be on the right path.

    Note: Bol Bol is projected #9 on that mock draft. I’m still mad about that one.

  18. mm40
    2:48 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

    These mock drafts are useless. For instance, has 4 UK players going the first round this year. Knox at #10, Gilgeous-Alexander at #11, Diallo at #14 and Vanderbilt at #20. How is a player projected at #20 in one draft and another draft the following projected at #31? Makes absolutely no sense and proves that outside of the first 8-10 picks no one knows if a player will be drafted. If this mock draft was true, shouldn’t UK be much better with four NBA first round picks on the roster?

    10:15 pm February 13, 2018 Permalink

    No one deserves to leave after this season cause their isn’t any worthy of leaving. Should make us the deepest team,in country next year