Name the last time a Kentucky freshman wasn’t one of the highest-rated college recruits in an NBA Draft class. You had Karl-Anthony Towns (No. 1) in 2015, Julius Randle (No. 7) in 2014, and Nerlens Noel (No. 6) in 2013. In 2012, John Calipari saw two of his players go first and second overall (Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, respectively).
In fact, since Calipari joined Kentucky in 2009, he’s had at least one player go in the top 10 every year (and that year, his freshman Tyreke Evans from Memphis went No. 4). It’s likely that streak will continue this year, as freshman Jamal Murray has announced he is declaring for the draft. Murray is projected as a lottery pick.
The 6-foot-4 Canadian who wears No. 23 is a scorer by nature. He put up 20 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in his lone season for Kentucky. Perhaps most importantly – considering the current style of play in the NBA – he shot 40.8 percent from deep. Murray joined All-American Tyler Ulis to form one of the best backcourts in America. The Wildcats saw their season end against Indiana in the round of 32.
Kentucky's Ulis and freshman Shal Labissiere are also projected as first-round picks. Murray, however, is considered the best pro prospect.
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[via Sports Illustrated]