Big Blue Notes: NBA draw is irresistible force for talented Wildcats

Eric Howard is a Calvert City native who lives in Lexington and is a committed UK Wildcat fan. His column 'Big Blue Notes' appears regularly in The Lake News.

Eric Howard is a Calvert City native who lives in Lexington and is a committed UK Wildcat fan. His column ‘Big Blue Notes’ appears regularly in The Lake News.

Bam departs for the NBA
Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo has opted to stay in the upcoming NBA draft and forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility. The 6-foot-10 power forward had originally announced he would not hire an agent in order to leave a return to Lexington possible. After meeting with his family, however, Adebayo decided to officially begin his professional career.

Bam joins a long list of underclassmen from John Calipari’s 2016-17 roster to enter the professional ranks including De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe, and Isaac Humphries. The Wildcats are also losing Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins, and Mychal Mulder to graduation.

Of those leaving early, guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk are expected to be the big winners. Fox and Monk are considered locks for the lottery portion of the draft which will guarantee them multi-million dollar contracts. Adebayo is projected as a borderline first round prospect while Briscoe and Humphries are expected to play internationally.

Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo, who sat out during the spring semester, is currently projected in the early second round. Diallo was invited to the NBA’s draft combine, but most around the program expect him to return to Lexington next season.

Wildcats a no-show in NFL draft
Most NFL prognosticators projected two Wildcats to be selected in last week’s NFL draft. Unfortunately for John Toth and Boom Williams, things didn’t go as expected. Toth, an All-SEC center for the Wildcats, was thought to be a safe bet for the third round while running back Boom Williams had been moving up the draft boards prior to the weekend. Neither Wildcat heard their name called, but both are expected to sign as free agents.
Paducah native and former Wildcat, J.D. Harmon, signed a free agent deal with the Cleveland Browns. Former Wildcat quarterback Patrick Towles is also getting some looks from several NFL teams.

UK’s Bat Cats dominating the SEC
Kentucky’s first-year head coach, Nick Mingione, is off to a historic start to his coaching career for the Wildcats. The Bat Cats are tied for first in the Southeastern Conference and are ranked nationally in the top ten.

The Wildcats have emerged as one of the most exciting offenses in the country. Over the weekend, Kentucky demolished national powerhouse South Carolina by a score of 19-1. Kentucky went on to win two of three against the Gamecocks marking Kentucky’s first series win in Columbia in 19 years.

The Bat Cats have series remaining with Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee before heading into the SEC Tournament.

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