So far, the official news on what the Kentucky Wildcats basketball players will do has trickled in as slow as the western states totals in a presidential election. We get some news every now and then but no official returns. But the returns we have gotten have been better than expected. No one expected Julius Randle and James Young to return at Kentucky. No one expected Marcus Lee to leave. And Willie Cauley-Stein was a very pleasant surprise. The deadline is April 27th, however, so these decisions do have to be made soon.
As it is Wednesday, we can probably expect a decision today. It seems as if each player is getting their own day to make their announcement and the buzz is that today could be Dakari Johnson’s day. At one time, this was a no brainer for Johnson to return to Kentucky , but it has become a tossup. NBA Draft.net does not list Johnson in their 2014 mock draft and they actually have him as the 40th pick in 2015. ESPN’s Chad Ford has Johnson as the 36th best player in his Top 100 and I think this is a more reliable opinion. If Dakari does declare, he is a likely second rounder that could move to the late first round, much like Daniel Orton did. That is hardly a secure position, so I expect Dakari back, although at this point it is truly a toss-up.
It would appear that the Alex Poythress decision is a no brainer at this point. He is not listed on most mock drafts and Chad Ford has him at #51 on his Top 100. That would indicate a return and there is speculation that Poythress could be close to finishing his degree next year. I’m not sure what the delay is on the announcement, but Poythress returning seems to be the safest bet.
And finally we come to the Harrisons. First, don’t believe anything you have heard. If we did not know where the Harrisons were going to college, there will not be any leaks in the Harrison camp with this decision. We do know that there are sightings of Andrew Sr and that the twins met with Calipari yesterday. That said, this decision may go into the weekend. Chad Ford has Andrew Harrison at #32 and Aaron Harrison at #34 on his Top 100 players and depending on who else before them stays in school, they can start to move up. Ford has them both as late first round picks and that is where the agonizing decision is.
Honestly, I THINK that if this goes into the weekend, the Harrisons may be gone. That would indicate that they are carefully watching to see who else is going to declare and if that can move them up a few more spots. Common sense dictates they return for another year and both could be lottery picks. But no one knows the decision process.
None of this was based on any “source”. It’s just speculation and reading tea leaves. So no wagering.