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Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: UK Players Move Up in NBA Mock Draft


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This past weekend, DraftExpress.com updated its 2015 NBA mock draft.  The new update features a few University of Kentucky Wildcats moving up on the list.

Freshman Karl-Anthony Towns still remains as the top UK player at No. 2 overall in the mock draft.  Towns is only behind Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor.  Thus far this season, Towns is averaging 10.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 1.1 assists, and 0.4 steals per game.

Earlier this month, DraftExpress.com analyst Jonathan Givony told the Herald-Leader that both Okafor and Towns will be “strongly in the mix” for the No. 1 overall pick, depending on which NBA team lands in that spot.

Freshman Devin Booker and junior Willie Cauley-Stein are also premiere targets in DraftExpress.com’s NBA mock draft.  They now have Booker listed as a lottery pick, as they have moved him up from No. 15 to the No. 14 overall pick.  This season, Booker is averaging 10.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 0.5 steals per game.

Cauley-Stein has moved up two spots from No. 7 to the No. 5 overall pick in the updated mock draft.  Cauley-Stein is averaging 9.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 assists per game this season.

Freshman Trey Lyles had the biggest move in the updated mock draft by DraftExpress.com.  They moved him up seven spots from the No. 25 pick to the No. 18 overall pick.  On the season, Lyles is averaging 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game.  He has continued to improve as he averaged 10.5 points and 8.5 rebounds through UK’s first two NCAA Tournament games.  Lyles has certainly played better over the last several games and has helped to keep the Wildcats advancing and his draft stock rising.

DraftExpress.com  was not as favorable toward other Kentucky Wildcats on its list.  Sophomore Andrew Harrison moved down two spots to the No. 53 overall pick in their latest mock draft.  Furthermore, sophomore Dakari Johnson remains as the No. 38 overall pick in the updated mock draft.  The biggest surprise of all may be that sophomore Aaron Harrison is not listed as a draft pick and is not on DraftExpress.com’s Top 100 prospects list.

Although the positions for Johnson and the Harrison twins may be disappointing, the improvements for Towns, Booker, Cauley-Stein, and Lyles are noteworthy.  It seems that with each game they improve and make major strides as basketball players and as young men.  If they continue to do so, it will be awfully tough to stop them on their quest for an undefeated, 40-0 season and a national championship.

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