In a move that surprised practically no one, seven members of the Kentucky Wildcats have declared for the NBA Draft, per ESPN. This past season, Kentucky was a juggernaut in the college basketball world and went undefeated before falling to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four.
In losing these seven players to draft declarations, Kentucky is set to potentially break its own mark from 2012.
That year, six men from Kentucky’s national championship team were selected: Anthony Davis (1st overall), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2nd), Terrence Jones (18th), Marquis Teague (29th), Doron Lamb (42nd) and Darius Miller (46th). It was the most players taken from one program since the NBA draft switched to two rounds back in 1989.
On the whole, this is great for Kentucky.
Nbadraft.net has five of the seven being selected in its latest mock draft, and all seven appear on the site’s big board. It is a testament to head coach John Calipari’s recruiting and coaching abilities, and each player has the potential to make an impact on an NBA roster.
But there’s also the other side of the coin to consider.
With these seven gone, the only major players from this past season’s roster coming back next year (should they choose that path) are soon-to-be senior forward Alex Poythress and guard Tyler Ulis, who will be a sophomore.
Sure, incoming freshmen such as guards Isaiah Briscoe and Charles Matthews as well as center Skal Labissiere can make a difference, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Kentucky will likely have an uphill battle next year in trying to maintain SEC dominance.
Regardless, that’s not the point of this piece.
Seven incredible talents are headed to the professional level, and fans should be excited to see them take the next step forward in their respective careers. Good luck to them.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports