Kentucky basketball has gained a reputation for being a pro factory. In the eyes of many people, Kentucky is a school where you go play basketball for a year if you’re a highly-regarded recruit, play well, then go to the NBA. This isn’t always the case, as guys like Tyler Ulis and Alex Poythress will tell you, but it seems that every year at the draft there are a number of Wildcats.
Now, John Calipari’s entire roster is doing something it has never done before. Every single player who is eligible to declare for the draft will do just that, according to Calipari.
Met with our team today. Told them that during the season it’s about the team and sacrificing for each other – which they did this year. When the season’s over, it’s about each individual player and what’s right for them and their families. With that being said, every player who is eligible for the draft, including our walk-ons, will submit their names for the NBA Draft in hopes of being invited to the combine in May.
This means that every Kentucky player other than Isaac Humphries and Tai Wynyard will declare for the draft. On the surface, this is completely absurd, but when you consider the new rules the NCAA passed earlier this year, it’s actually a pretty good idea.
Back in January, the NCAA announced that players can now submit their names for the draft and pull them out 10 days after the NBA combine. The new rules also state that players can do this multiple times, meaning they can test the waters of the NBA and not have to worry about losing eligibility. Players can even attend the combine and work out once for a team as many times as they want during their collegiate careers.
There are a few players – most notably Ulis and Jamal Murray – who will stay in the Draft barring something insane happening. As for everyone else, this is an excellent way for them to learn what they need to do to improve their draft stock for the future. It also helps make Kentucky basketball better, so Calipari will benefit from his players’ declarations.
A lot of people like to say that Calipari has found a way to take advantage of the system with the way he recruits one-and-done players. Even if you disagree with that, there’s no doubt that he’s found a way to make his team and players better by taking advantage of the new rules.