This article was written by Tyler Bloyd, a contributor with KentuckySports.co.
Everyone knows that John Calipari and staff year in, year out put players in to the NBA, and as we enter the week of the 2011 NBA Draft, we should take aquick look at our “Draft Cats” for this years class.
Starting with another one of Cal’s point guards, Brandon Knight. He came off a great freshman season for the Wildcats, averaging 17 points 4 assists and 4 rebounds, playing in the foot steps of John Wall who was last years #1 pick. Knight stepped up, hitting game winning shots against Princeton and Ohio State before advancing to the Final Four and now he is predicted anywhere in the 1-7 range. You think a good option would be Cleveland, considering they have 2 picks(1 & 4) and can pick a big and small, but if they do choose Irving, then watch for the Utah Jazz to look into Knight.
Moving to DeAndre Liggins. He was a solid contributor all season, was on the ropes about leaving at first but at the end other priorities called and he made the right choice. Liggins is know as a stopper, or the go to defender for the Cats, as he consistently locked down opposing teams best player, who was usually smaller and quicker than him, but his length and toughness made up for it. Now word coming out is that he has had good workouts, and impressing scouts with more of a offensive game than most thought(we always knew DeAndre!) and he has one of the better “NBA ready” body’s so he should get picked and I’m thinking anywhere in the late first to early second round depending on where other guys fall ahead of him.
Now for one of the more loved players in recent years, Josh Harrellson. The big fella was basically unknown coming into the season, playing behind DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton last season, but everyone knew his name come April. He tore up the final month of the season, grabbing boards left and right and showing a little bit of a offensive game. His most known performance came in the Sweet 16 against Ohio State and the so called best big man in the Nation Jared Sullinger. Sullinger got his, but the fact that “Jorts” held his own and neutralized him, caught scouts eye and allowed him to be invited to camps where he has done good, but we are not sure if we will hear his name called or not, but my prediction is a late second rounder as Calipari seems to get everyone in these days.
Last but certainly not forgotten is the guy who never played a minute for the Cats but made a big impact on campus and around the team. Enes Kanter from Turkey, who everyone knows got robbed of his eligibility no matter what happened when he was a kid, he wanted to play college bball but couldn’t, but that’s another story and now he has taken it personal, tearing up drills for every team that’s worked him out. He’s been impressing with the versatility of his game, banging hard down low but also stepping out and knocking down jumpers, and a lot of people are saying they wouldn’t be surprised if the Cavs take him #1 overall as he will be meeting with owner Dan Gilbert this week, but if not there you could see him drop to #6 to the Wizards which would officially make them my favorite team with him playing along side our man Wall.
But whatever happens to these guys, BBN and KYSCO would like to say thanks for everything you guys did while at UK, on and off the court, and we hope for the best and can’t wait to see you all back at Rupp! Go Cats!