Kentucky Wildcats Morning Headlines: NBA Scouting Combine getting rave reviews

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As we reported yesterday, John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats are in the process of organizing a two-day NBA Scout combine in Lexington, a move that has been unprecedented.  My take is that it is a brilliant move by Calipari in that it elevates the exposure of Kentucky’s recruiting (as if that were possible) and it should remove the distraction of NBA scouts attending practice for the majority of the season.

John Calipari does nothing low-key and this is just another example of him thinking outside the box.  While the haters and rivals will bash this idea for glorifying the “one and done” mentality, people with saner minds seem to think the idea is pretty darn brilliant. 

"This is a brilliant move by Calipari, who time and again proves that he is one of the most innovative recruiters in the country. If he is really going to close down practice to NBA scouts for a large chunk of the season after the Kentucky Combine, than that means that every NBA team is going to send at least one member of their scouting department to Lexington for those two days. If that’s the only look that they will get at potential first rounders Karl Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Marcus Lee and Trey Lyles in anything other than game action for an extended period of time, they’ll need to be there. Cal knows this. And he also knows that this is the perfect way to market his program to elite players in the 2015 and 2016 classes that have not committed to a school. Come to Kentucky, where we practice in front of every NBA team. Don’t be surprised to see the Wildcats with a large number of recruits on campus that weekend. As one NBA executive told Yahoo, “We’re just there as B-roll for his recruiting videos.” He’s right."

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

This news could not come at a better time for Kentucky’s basketball recruiting efforts. John Calipari is in the mix for several top targets and is having several in home visits this week. Of course, the recruits are going to be talking about this.

"As Wojnarowski points out, the combine also won’t hurt Calipari and Kentucky in the recruiting department. Kentucky currently has just one commit, Charles Matthews for 2015, but remains in the mix for several elite players, some of whom are already in the Mock for 2016, including projected No. 1 pick Jaylen Brown, No. 4 Cheick Diallo, No. 5 Malik Newman, No. 7 Isaiah Briscoe, No. 8 Brandon Ingram and No. 9 Henry Ellenson. “Absolutely,” the first scout said. “That’s one of the things that he has going for him. He knows that his whole program is an NBA showcase and all the high school kids know that, that’s part of the reason they go there. That’s on their agenda, that’s what they want, and the people around them want. They want the high visibility, and there’s nowhere where the visibility is higher than at Kentucky.”"

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the players that the NBA Scouts are drooling to see. As far as the expected NBA exodus that is expected to happen in Lexington after this season … well, slow your roll. At least, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford.

"Ford has just three UK players listed among his top 30 prospects for next year’s draft. Freshman Karl-Anthony Towns is the top Wildcat on the board at No. 3, behind Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor and international point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. UK junior Willie Cauley-Stein is No. 14, and fellow junior Alex Poythress comes in at No. 28. Ford also mentions sophomore guard Aaron Harrison as one of his “next five in” outside of the top 30. That leaves possible NBA Draft picks Dakari Johnson, Andrew Harrison, Trey Lyles and Marcus Lee out of the mix. updated its 2015 mock draft last week and included six Wildcats: Towns (No. 3), Cauley-Stein (No. 10), Johnson (No. 21), Andrew Harrison (No. 25), Aaron Harrison (No. 29) and Poythress (No. 33)."

Of course, it is way too early to worry about this, but if Ford’s projections hold out we could have an annual logjam of talent at UK. It will be a good problem to have.