UK Men's Basketball

Isaiah Briscoe to remain at Kentucky, Marcus Lee transferring

John Calipari talks Briscoe, Lee and NBA

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks about whether Isaiah Briscoe and Marcus Lee will leave their names in the NBA Draft.
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Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks about whether Isaiah Briscoe and Marcus Lee will leave their names in the NBA Draft.

Isaiah Briscoe will be back at Kentucky for his sophomore year.

Marcus Lee is headed elsewhere, but not to the NBA.

Briscoe, a 6-foot-3 freshman guard from New Jersey, announced his decision to stay on Twitter on Wednesday, saying “Bbn im back!!!!!!!!!!!”

Moments later, UK announced that junior Marcus Lee plans to transfer to another school.

Wednesday was the final day that college basketball players who entered their names in the 2016 NBA Draft could remove them and retain their eligibility. Early Wednesday afternoon, UK confirmed Briscoe’s tweet by officially announcing the guard will stay at UK.

Kentucky players Jamal Murray, Tyler Ulis, Skal Labissiere, Lee and Briscoe all entered the draft, which will be held June 23 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Murray, Ulis and Labissiere previously announced they would stay in the draft and hired agents.

Lee took part in the NBA Draft Combine this month but was not projected by most to be drafted. UK said Lee will be granted a full release with no restrictions. Kentucky did the same for freshman Charles Matthews, who plans to transfer last week.

“Marcus Lee informed us today that he is pulling his name out of the draft but has decided he is going to transfer to a school out west to be closer to his family,” head coach John Calipari said in a news release. “We talked it through together and discussed the team next season, which he said had no bearing on his decision. I also told him he was a semester away from graduating. With that said, he was still adamant that, after the combine experience, a year off and regrouping would be the best thing. As always I support my players and their decisions.”

Lee, a 6-9 forward from Antioch, Calif., posted career highs in points per game (6.4), rebounds per game (6.0), blocked shots (59) and assists (I1) last season. He shot a team-best 68.0 percent from the field.

“I want to thank the University of Kentucky, the basketball staff and the Big Blue Nation for supporting me over the years,” Lee said in the news release. “I’m sorry it took me so long to come to this decision, but I’m trying to do what’s right for me and my family. I’ll always think fondly of my time at Kentucky.”

Briscoe’s return solidifies a youthful UK backcourt for next season. He averaged 9.6 points and 5.3 rebounds while displaying deft driving, ball-handling, passing and defensive skills. After seeking advice from several NBA teams during recent workouts, Briscoe, who will be UK’s leading returning scorer and rebounder, decided on another year of college seasoning to improve his game.

“I really grew from this experience and I appreciate the opportunity to be evaluated by these NBA teams,” Briscoe said in a UK news release. “I also want to thank the coaching staff and the fans for their support during this time. The NBA is my ultimate goal, so I’m returning to build on last year. There’s no better place to grow as a player or to win a championship, and I want to do both.”

Projected 2016-17 Kentucky roster

Player

Pos

Class

Ht

Bam Adebayo

F

Freshman

6-9

Isaiah Briscoe

G

Sophomore

6-3

Brad Calipari

G

Freshman

6-0

Jonny David

G

Sophomore

6-2

EJ Floreal

G

Senior

6-4

De’Aaron Fox

G

Freshman

6-4

Wenyen Gabriel

F

Freshman

6-10

Dominique Hawkins

G

Senior

6-0

Isaac Humphries

F

Sophomore

7-0

Sacha Killeya-Jones

F

Freshman

6-11

Malik Monk

G

Freshman

6-4

Mychal Mulder

G

Senior

6-4

Dillon Pulliam

G

Junior

6-3

Derek Willis

F

Senior

6-9

Tai Wynyard

F

Freshman

6-10

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