From Kentucky to the NBA
A look at the draft prospects for the seven UK players who announced their intentions to turn pro on Thursday:
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2014-15 stats: 10.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 21.1 mpg
ESPN projection: No. 1
DraftExpress projection: No. 1
He said it: "It's very special. It's one of those moments, like I said, that you never think this can happen. ... It's like winning the lottery. You've just been able to have a chance to do something special and play a sport you love. And being able to take care of your parents and being able to do something that many people will never be able to have the chance to do."
2014-15 stats: 8.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 25.9 mpg
ESPN projection: No. 7
DraftExpress projection: No. 6
He said it: "There's going to be a lot of speed bumps in the way. Those are the things that are going to make you who you are, that's going to build your character. I'm excited to take a leap of faith, and then, if I fall ... you've gotta fall sometime. And whatever you do to pick yourself back up, that's going to be your name. And I hope mine's big."
2014-15 stats: 10.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 41.1 percent threes, 21.5 mpg
ESPN projection: No. 19
DraftExpress projection: No. 17
He said it: "Coach said at the beginning of the year — what he said about getting eight people (to the NBA), that was the truth. And I didn't think I was one of the eight. I wasn't focused on that. I was focused on getting wins, and that's what we did. He said that everybody's going to eat. The success of the team brought success to everybody."
2014-15 stats: 8.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 23.0 mpg
ESPN projection: No. 18
DraftExpress projection: No. 19
He said it: "(The NBA feedback) just said they could see me doing a lot of things, playing multiple positions and being a good player in the league. I think (playing on the perimeter) definitely helped me. ... My natural position is a '4' and that's probably what I'll play at the next level. (Calipari) just helped me out with being able to do other things."
2014-15 stats: 6.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 16.3 mpg
ESPN projection: No. 39
DraftExpress projection: No. 38
He said it: "Last night, me and my mom sat down with Coach Cal, and he said either way I go, I'm going to be fine. He has a lot of faith in me and believes in me. ... Last night I kind of slept on it and prayed about it. And I just woke up this morning thinking it was that time — to just go and chase my dreams."
2014-15 stats: 9.3 ppg, 3.6 apg, 37.8% threes, 25.5 mpg
ESPN projection: No. 57
DraftExpress projection: No. 53
He said it: "I think I could have gone and got drafted last year. But I felt like I had more college to do, you know what I mean? I just wanted to be a kid one more year. Mature. And it's a big difference. ... It's different. You're becoming a man, so you have to be ready for it."
2014-15 stats: 11.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 31.6% threes, 25.8 mpg
ESPN projection: Undrafted
DraftExpress projection: Undrafted
He said it: "I felt like it was time for me to go to the next level, and I think I'm ready for the next level. ... I had an up-and-down season, of course. But I still feel like I'm one of the best two-guards in the draft. Now I just have to go out there and prove it."