Coming in the 2013-14 college basketball season ESPN NBA Draft Analyst Chad Ford was very high on a number of Kentucky Wildcats and their prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft. After securing one of the greatest recruiting classes of all-time, many project UK to have as many as five one-and-dones.
This, as evidenced by his top-30 NBA prospects coming into the year:
2. PF Julius Randle
7. PG Andrew Harrison
13. C Willie Cauley-Stein
20. SF James Young
21. SF Alex Poythress
25. C Dakari Johnson
26. SG Aaron Harrison
But unsurprisingly, his rankings have changed significantly with early-season struggles of the Cats. Here is a look at his updated top-30 NBA draft prospects:
4. PF Julius Randle
11. SF James Young
17. C Willie Cauley-Stein
20. PG Andrew Harrison
Next five in: Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame; Semaj Christon, G, Xavier; Alex Poythress, F, Kentucky; T.J. Warren, F, NC State; Ron Baker, G, Wichita State
While freshman small forward James Young has seen his stock rise, every other UK player has seen his stock take a hit, perhaps none more than freshman point guard Aaron Harrison, who’s fallen 13 spots due primarily to his lack of assists and ability to set-up his teammates better than he has:
Harrison continues to be on the Big Board more because of his reputation coming in than his actual performance on the court. The area where he’s been most effective is getting to the line. In fact, he’s taken 74 free throws compared to 71 shots. That’s pretty amazing. But with so many talented players on Kentucky’s roster, why isn’t his assist total higher?
If these young Cats begin to gel and play close to their potential, they’ll quickly rise up many draft boards, but if they continue to play the way they are, many of them will be back for another year of college.