Doron Lamb says he'll return for sophomore season

Brandon Knight's plans still a secret

jtipton@herald-leader.comApril 20, 2011 

Kentucky Wildcats guard Doron Lamb (20) signaled three pointer after drilling one in the first half as the University of Kentucky played Tennessee on Tuesday February 8, 2011 Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF

With the deadline for entering this year's NBA Draft looming, Kentucky basketball announced Tuesday that Doron Lamb will return for his sophomore season.

The mother of another standout UK freshman, point guard Brandon Knight, said that her son had made the decision of whether to return to UK next season or enter this year's NBA Draft.

"He knows what he wants to do," Tonya Knight said. " ... It's not for me to announce."

UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said that the school planned to hold a news conference or issue a news release when players have decided their basketball futures. The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft is Sunday.

Players have until May 8 to withdraw from the June 23 draft and return to college next season provided they do not sign with an agent.

Lamb joined teammates Terrence Jones and Knight on the Southeastern Conference's all-freshman team for 2010-11. In announcing the decision to return next season, Lamb noted Kentucky's loss to Connecticut in the Final Four.

"Last season was an unbelievable run for me and my teammates, winning the SEC Tournament and advancing to the Final Four," Lamb said in a news release. "Losing the last game against UConn was tough and I don't want to end my college career with that feeling. With the guys we have coming in next year, I know we have the talent to make another run at a national title. I want to help bring a national championship back to the Big Blue Nation because I know they've been waiting too long. I've enjoyed my time at Kentucky, playing for Coach Cal and his staff and I'm not ready for it to end."

Kentucky will add the nation's No. 1 recruiting class next season. That class has four McDonald's All-Americans in big men Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer, wing Michael Gilchrist and point guard Marquis Teague.

How many veterans will join the newcomers remains an unknown.

Earlier this spring, the father of senior-to-be Darius Miller said his son would consider entering the draft. Ava Mashia, the aunt of Jones, said her nephew would also consider entering the draft.

Last week, UK Coach John Calipari said senior-to-be DeAndre Liggins should enter the draft and test his NBA stock.

According to several Web sites, Knight, Jones and would-be UK player Enes Kanter are projected as lottery picks. Neither NBADraft.net nor DraftExpress.com mentioned Lamb, Miller or Liggins in its projections for the first or second rounds of the draft.

Chad Ford of ESPN.com followed form by rating Kanter (No. 6), Knight (No. 9) and Jones (No. 12) as lottery picks. He rated Lamb at No. 54 in his list of top 100 prospects for the 2011 NBA Draft. He did not mention Miller nor Liggins in the list.

The announcement about Lamb echoed what the player's father said earlier this spring. Calvin Lamb said his son would return and play better as a sophomore.

"He wasn't really himself in the way he played," the elder Lamb said. "He didn't have that freedom."

His son would play more aggressively next season, Calvin Lamb said.

In the UK news release, Calipari said, "Doron has the opportunity to improve greatly with an additional year in college. A lot of players have opted to return to school which made it a tougher decision for him. Not only does he gain another year of maturity and school work, but he now has the chance to put in the extra work to elevate his game. I'm excited to have him back."

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