Apr 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Alex Poythress (22) shoots in the second half during the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: The Waiting Game

After a surprise run to the National Championship , there are seven Kentucky Wildcats who are soon to be making a life altering decision. There has been speculation that all seven may go and test the waters of the NBA Draft, which I find to be an absurd decision for a few of them, while there has also been speculation that only a handful will be heading to the NBA.

The worst part of every season for the Big Blue Nation has arrived, the waiting game. Every media member seems to have a “source” before the players even know what they’re going to do. Like yesterday, there was reports from ESPN  that Julius Randle was headed to the NBA, which he refuted by sending out a tweet. At this point, the speculation is merely speculation. No one really knows what each player is going to do, and when they do know, they should be letting the players announce themselves, rather than leaking it for their own compensation.

With the speculation that seven could be possibly leaving, my mind is blown. I think at least two staying would be beneficial for their future, Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress. Both of these players have glimpses within themselves of the elite player they can be when they reach the NBA, but they both have a lot to work on before that its even possible. Leaving now would be costly for their future, in my opinion. The others, all of them could benefit from staying, but when you’re projected to go in the first round, why would you stay and risk an injury that could be career ending or career altering?

Think about it this way, everybody has something they love to do. If I was told I could do something that I love and make millions of dollars without having to go back to school, I would do it in a heartbeat. There would be no talking it over with my family, I would immediately be able to say, “yep, I’m taking the millions of dollars and running.” I wouldn’t be going to school if I didn’t have to, either.

Players get criticized for merely playing a year of college basketball, which does make sense, too. There is so much to learn about yourself from 18-22, both physically and psychologically. However, if they aren’t required to stay more than a single year, what would make them want to stay? I would love to see all of the players stay, but I know that isn’t going to happen. There is only one way to keep elite players in college longer than a year, raising the age of the NBA Draft entry.

This is something Calipari and the Big Blue Nation would love. This every season waiting game is exhausting and depressing for fans, and in some cases, completely heartbreaking.

Whenever the waiting game is over, it’ll be interesting to see what every player decides to do and to see what the roster for next season will look like.

It is important to support our current Wildcats in whatever decision they make in regards to the NBA Draft. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.

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