The annual parade out the front door of the University of Kentucky has officially begun. On Monday, standout point guar De’Aaron Fox announced that he’ll be leaving the Wildcats after only one season of college basketball and trying his luck in the NBA.
Fox becomes the 19th Kentucky player to do so in the past eight season under John Calipari.
Fox announced that he would be looking to sign an agent immediately; once he does, he will become officially ineligible to play in the collegiate ranks ever again.
The 6-foot-3 guard confirmed his decision with a post on social media.
First of all, I’m grateful for the unbelievable season we had. Although the ending didn’t turn out how we wanted it to, this team came together as a family and we achieved things that a lot of people didn’t think we could because we were so young. I want to thank my teammates for being on this ride with me as well as the seniors and specifically Zay for guiding me this season. It wouldn’t have been such a smooth transition from high school to college without their leadership. I want to thank God for blessing me with this talent to play at this level. I also want to thank my parents and my brother for always being there for me. I want to thank Cal, KP, and the entire coaching staff for recruiting me and for having the confidence in me to lead this team. Throughout the season they helped me grow as a player and as a person. With that being said, I’ve decided to enter the 2017 NBA Draft and I will be signing with an agent. I think I’ve had a pretty good freshman season through the guidance of our coaching staff and I think it’s time for me to live out my dream. Last but not least, I want to thank the Big Blue Nation. There is no other fan base like you in the country. I’ll miss playing in front of you, but I know you’ll continue to support me at the next level. #bbnforever 🔵😼⚪️
A McDonalds All-American in high school, Fox’s success translated at the next level, a trend he hopes will continue. In his lone year at Kentucky, he averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds. His exciting play towards the second half of the year and through the tournament was particularly noteworthy, and likely helped boost his draft stock considerably.
Currently, Fox is expected to go somewhere between the fourth and eighth pick of the draft.
His departures, along with the possible/likely departures of Isaiah Briscoe, and Malik Monk, would leave the Wildcats in an uncouth, if familiar position. The team will need a total rebuild of its backcourt and be deplete of any experience or depth with the departures of seniors Dominique Hawkins and Mychal Mulder.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, this is Calipari’s field of expertise. Expect to be having the same discussion this time next year, when another star freshman for Kentucky has decided to leave for the NBA.
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