Kentucky put out a release on Monday morning announcing the future of two of this year’s crop of freshmen stars.
Archie Goodwin is off to the NBA while Willie Cauley-Stein, and Kyle Wiltjer, will be returning to Kentucky for another season. There is no word yet on Alex Poythress.
“I’m excited that Willie and Kyle have decided to return for next season,” Calipari said. “When we talk about a players-first program, our goal is for each player to reach his dreams. Willie and Kyle believe it is in their best interest to return to Kentucky next season to achieve those dreams, and I fully support their decisions.
“Although I really wanted Archie to return for his sophomore season, I fully support him choosing to pursue his dreams. He has the drive and desire to be great and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure he succeeds in life both on and off the court. I believe, with another year of hard work and competition, they all can take their games to the next level. I look forward to seeing them all grow into young men.”
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Wiltjer returning to school isn’t a surprise, although there had been rumors scurrying about the interwebs that he may end up transferring out of Kentucky. That’s not the case.
Goodwin probably made the correct decision to leave for the NBA. If he returned to school, it would likely have been a two-year decision. With the Harrison twins and James Young joining the program next year, and with the possibility that Andrew Wiggins might join that group, there simply weren’t going to be many minutes available for him. He’s got the athleticism and the potential to be a first round pick this year, and if he continues to develop, he could end up being a solid NBA player.
Cauley-Stein was a more interesting case. He’s incredibly raw, but he’s also a seven-footer that was athletic enough to play wide receiver as a high school football player. He played well enough that he might have snuck into the back end of the lottery had he left for the NBA this year, but with an offseason’s worth of development and a full year as Kentucky’s starting center, his draft stock could grow.
Now all eyes turn to Poythress and Wiggins as we attempt to figure out just what Kentucky’s roster is going to look like next season.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.