INDIANAPOLIS — There weren't many players in Kentucky's somber locker room Saturday night who would offer specific details about their future plans.
There's much uncertainty coming out of the Final Four loss to Wisconsin, but the Wildcats agreed on one thing: This is the last time this group of players will ever play on the same team.
Junior Willie Cauley-Stein surprised many last April when he announced he would return to Lexington for another run. It was almost certainly his last one.
"I know what I'm going to do," Cauley-Stein said.
When asked if this was his last game as a Wildcat, he left little room for doubt.
"Probably," he said. "It's time to take another step. I mean, obviously, I'm not 100 percent on it. But I'm pretty sure I know what I want to do. I have to talk to a couple more people, but that'll probably be my last game here."
If he does indeed leave for the NBA, he won't be the only one.
Freshman Karl-Anthony Towns is now projected by ESPN and DraftExpress.com to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft. Cauley-Stein is likely a top-10 selection.
Freshmen Devin Booker and Trey Lyles are also projected as first-rounders. Sophomore Dakari Johnson is seen as an early second-round pick.
Booker and Lyles both said they were unsure of their futures.
"As of now, I'm getting ready for my sophomore season," Booker said. "I'll sit down with my family and just come to a decision."
"I haven't thought about it," Lyles said. "I'm just thinking about the game right now."
Sophomores Aaron and Andrew Harrison have a decision to make too, though their standing as possible draft picks isn't as clear.
The twins also surprised the college basketball world when they announced they'd come back for a second season. They were the last Wildcats to reveal their plans last year, and Aaron Harrison made it sound like this decision could also take awhile.
"Just gotta get away from this, I think," he said, speaking of the feelings over Saturday's loss. "You can't really let this affect you. Because you can't make the right decision when there's emotion involved."
Both Harrisons said last year that they were not yet ready to split up — it's highly unlikely they'd end up with the same professional franchise — and the thought of at least one more season together was part of the reason they decided to return.
"It's kind of tough," Aaron Harrison said Saturday. "Just being with somebody every day of your life, every second of your life, really. Thinking about having to live in different cities. That doesn't feel real either. But it's just part of growing up. You have to do things you don't want to do sometimes."
Band of brothers
The quest for 40-0 and a ninth national championship fell short, but UK's players said after Saturday's loss that they hope they have a place in the program's history anyway.
Lyles said he wants this group to be remembered as a "band of brothers."
The others described how close they became through the course of the season. Cauley-Stein put it best, as he usually does.
"(These) guys have been good, like great teammates," he said. "There's no drama the whole year. There wasn't a lot of ego problems. And I've been on teams where there's ego problems, and it's not fun to play. To have as much fun and be as together as this team was and then come up short. And then never have a chance to play together again. We won't have the same team ever again. That's sad."
No big shots
Aaron Harrison was the guy who hit all the big shots in last season's NCAA Tournament, sinking last-minute three-pointers against Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin to send the Wildcats to the championship game.
He did it again last weekend against Notre Dame, hitting another long three-pointer in a clutch situation to help the Cats move on.
On Saturday, Harrison was 2-for-6 from the floor in the second half. His final shot of the game — perhaps his final shot as a Wildcat — was a three-pointer that would have cut Wisconsin's lead to one point with 8 seconds left. It missed badly, and he fouled out three seconds later.
"I didn't hit the big shots that I'm supposed to," he said. "I'm supposed to be the guy to put them away, and I didn't.
"I didn't finish them off. That's what happens when you let a team hang around."