With the NCAA and NBA setting separate deadlines for players to enter and exit this year's professional draft, underclassmen at the University of Kentucky and other schools could be confused. UK Coach John Calipari made it clear that his players will only consider the NBA deadlines, which are April 29 to enter the draft and June 18 to withdraw.
But also clear is the consequence of ignoring the NCAA deadline for exiting the NBA Draft. That deadline came and went at midnight Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.
Hereafter, a player who declares for this year's NBA Draft forfeits any remaining college eligibility. So if Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb and/or Marquis Teague enter the draft later this month, there's no playing again for Kentucky even if one or all should change his mind and exit the draft.
Of course, any or all can return and play for UK next season provided they don't enter this year's NBA Draft.
"The NBA's deadline for student-athletes to enter the draft is April 29," the NCAA notes on its Web site. "However, if underclassmen declare between April 11-29, they will relinquish any remaining college eligibility."
At which, Calipari has shrugged.
Earlier this spring, Calipari said he would recommend the NBA's April 29 deadline for entering the draft as the sole timetable his players should consider.
"That's the only one we're going to worry about," Calipari said prior to the Final Four. "I don't even know the other (NCAA) date. Nor do I care."
The early NCAA deadline was established at the request of college coaches who wanted a more clear picture sooner of which players would be returning or leaving.
UK did not expect any announcement by a player about the draft on Tuesday.
"We have not even talked about it yet," Davis' father, also named Anthony, said Tuesday.
No decision seemed imminent.
"We just tell him to get his school work finished out," the elder Davis said. "Then we'll sit down and try to figure out what's what."
Teague's father, Shawn, spoke of the player and his parents meeting with Calipari at some point to discuss the future.
"We're just basically operating along the lines with Coach Cal," the elder Teague said, "meeting with him and kind of see what everyone's view is from there."
The high school coach for Davis said Monday that his former player might not be ready to announce his plans before the end of the month.
Cortez Hale, who coached Davis at Chicago's Perspectives Charter school, said Monday that he suggested to Davis, "Why not make it fun and drag it out?
"... He might drag it out until April 29."
Hale said he had not heard if Davis had decided to enter the 2012 NBA Draft, as is widely expected, or return to UK next season.
Davis was tickled by Calipari's tongue-in-cheek suggestion that the big man return next season to be UK's point guard.
"He's really thinking of that one," Hale said with a chuckle.