One day after fellow freshman Kentucky stud Doron Lamb told the school he would be returning to the university for at least one more, three of his roommates announced they would be testing the waters at the next level.
Kentucky freshmen Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins announced Wednesday they are declaring for the NBA Draft, but not hiring an agent. Not hiring an agent has been a popular decision this year for many borderline prospects, such as Shelvin Mack the star guard from Butler.
Often deciding not to hire an agent is for those prospects who aren’t sure if they will be first round draft picks or not; however, for two of these Kentucky bluegrassers they can sleep well knowing they will be first round draft picks.
DeAndre Liggins is the lone prospect of the three that might want to reconsider, or rather can really use this opportunity to open his eyes to the next level, but he should skip back to the university without hiring an agent.
I don’t think Liggins will be a first round draft pick; however, I think with at least one more year to develop in college, I think he can be in the same mold as a Trevor Ariza – a good shooter, who is known best for his defense. I think Liggins is a guy that can be counted on to guard one of the opponents best players, especially right now in college.
Liggins can be as valuable, if not more than Ariza in the future, but I don’t think he has that now. Plus, Kentucky head coach John Calipari would miss him if he left because he’d be losing by far his best defender. Liggins was the guy late in this season that Calipari called on to guard the opposing team’s best player.
It should be considered a compliment to Liggins that I project him in the same mold as Ariza, but I also don’t think he can be much more than that at the next level.
As for Jones, I think he is another guy that could potentially benefit from returning to school for one more year. I think he can solidify himself in the minds of NBA scouts as a lottery pick, but I don’t think he’d be a lottery this season, even with all of the guaranteed lottery picks who came back to college – Jared Sullinger in particular.
Knight is the freshman who doesn’t have so much to worry about. He’ll be a lottery pick – no doubt about it, and he can potentially be one of the best point guards in the NBA as he progresses.
If he’s still deciding on going to the NBA full force and going back to school, he’s probably just considering whether he wants to be the No. 1 draft pick or not. This June, I don’t think he can be the No. 1 pick, although I think he can do quite a lot to get himself into the top five.
I think next year he could potentially be the No. 1 pick, if he has another good season because he really came on at the end of the season and definitely made a name for himself in the NCAA tournament in March.