Kentucky's leading scorer, Archie Goodwin, will enter the NBA Draft while teammates Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer will stick around for the Wildcats' 2013-2014 season, Coach John Calipari announced Monday.
"I'm excited that Willie and Kyle have decided to return for next season," Calipari said in a prepared news release. "When we talk about a players-first program, our goal is for each player to reach his dreams. Willie and Kyle believe it is in their best interest to return to Kentucky next season to achieve those dreams, and I fully support their decisions.
"Although I really wanted Archie to return for his sophomore season, I fully support him choosing to pursue his dreams. He has the drive and desire to be great, and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure he succeeds in life both on and off the court.
"I believe, with another year of hard work and competition, they all can take their games to the next level. I look forward to seeing them all grow into young men."
Never miss a local story.
Goodwin is expected join fellow freshman Nerlens Noel in the draft. Noel, who went out for the season Feb. 12 with a severe knee injury in a game against Florida, is expected by some analysts to be the top draft pick.
The Wildcats who stay will join seven incoming recruits, including six who are playing at the McDonald's All-American game this week. UK is also pursuing another top recruit, Andrew Wiggins.
Freshman Cauley-Stein averaged 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds last season. He had 59 blocks. Wiltjer averaged 10.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in his sophomore season.
"I'm so excited about the possibilities of next season," Wiltjer said. "I love Coach Cal and the staff, the University of Kentucky and the Big Blue Nation. After talking with Coach and the staff, I understand what I need to do. I want to be a part of another championship. This summer, I'm going to work the hardest I've ever worked to come back next season better and stronger."
Goodwin led the team with a 14.0 scoring average. He had 25 games in which he scored in double figures. He was second on the team in assists and steals.
"This is something I've dreamed about my entire life and I feel like the opportunity is there for me to play at the next level," Goodwin said in the news release. He has not yet signed with an agent for the June 27 draft.
"I will stay in Lexington to finish my schoolwork this semester before continuing to pursue my dream," Goodwin said. "I've loved my time at UK and want to thank Coach Cal, the staff and my teammates for helping me get where I am. I especially want to thank the Big Blue Nation for all their support."
School officials said they will announce other players' decisions at a later date. Among those whose decisions were not announced were Noel and Alex Poythress.