Whole UK team looking to gauge draft prospects

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Whether it’s coaching the Dominican Republic national team, giving ESPN full access to his locker room or holding a scouting combine instead of practice, Kentucky coach John Calipari is always on the cutting edge of recruiting.

He’s at it again, taking advantage of the NCAA’s change in rules that allows underclassmen to declare of the draft, workout for NBA teams and attend the combine while still being able to return to school if they don’t hire an agent.

Cal’s got his whole squad going pro – at least temporarily.

“Every player who is eligible for the draft,” Calipari wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening, including our walk-ons, will submit their names for the NBA draft in hopes of being invited to the combine in May.”

It’s brilliant, it really is.

It again pushes Calipari’s reputation as pro-player and forward-thinking while getting his program tons of attention and really costing him nothing. His recruiting philosophy of bringing in five-star one-and-dones every year means even if this does cost him a player or two that might have otherwise stayed, he’s got another or two already coming in the door.

The new rules stipulate that players have until May 25 to decide to return to school.

Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere would appear to be sure-fire lottery picks while point guard Tyler Ullis could also go in the first round, should he decide to stay in the draft. Isaiah Briscoe doesn’t project to be a first-rounder this year, but could intrigue teams during the process.

Whatever happens as a result of this (let’s call it what it is) inspired stunt, Calipari and Kentucky have already won.