The seven players were UK’s top seven scorers.
CBSSports.com reported Sunday, less than 24 hours after UK’s season ended, that the likely scenario had seven underclassmen declaring for the draft. According to sources, Dakari Johnson is the only one of the seven who seriously considered returning to UK.
Four of the Kentucky players who declared — specifically Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker — are considered locks for the first round. Johnson, Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison are projected as second-round picks.
Despite the departures, Kentucky is still ranked third in the CBSSports.com Ridiculously Early Preseason Top 25 (and one). The Wildcats are expected to have a core of Tyler Ulis, Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee to go with a recruiting class highlighted by five-star prospects Isaiah Briscoe and Skal Labissiere, the latter of whom is now projected by DraftExpress.com to be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. Kentucky is also expected to add other elite recruits. Among the possibilities are Malik Newman, Stephen Zimmerman, Jaylen Brown, Caleb Swanigan, Cheick Diallo and Brandon Ingram.