The University of Kentucky is well-known as the closest thing in college basketball to a direct NBA pipeline under the reign of John Calipari, but the Wildcats took it to new levels on Thursday with seven players, all underclassmen, declaring for the NBA in a joint press conference.
Coach Cal had a novel way of making the announcement:
Let’s sound off on the prospects: Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker, Dakari Johnson, and the Harrison twins (Aaron and Andrew). That’s three freshmen (Towns, Lyles and Booker), three sophomores (Johnson and the Harrisons) and one junior (Cauley-Stein). The chances are good that all seven of them will be drafted.
If all seven (now former) Wildcats are drafted, it will break the all-time record for most players taken from one school in a single draft, which was a tie between the Anthony Davis-led 2012 UK squad and the 1977 UNLV Rebels, who both had six selections.
A couple of players will be returning to Kentucky next year, as crazy as that sounds, including point guard Tyler Ulis and injured forward Alex Poythress, who will become a very rare sight, indeed, a University of Kentucky senior. It might look like a wasteland of talent for now, but chances are that will change really quickly. The Wildcats already have two five-stars and a four-star, according to Rivals, committed to the class of 2015.