There are three reasons a recruit goes to Kentucky: To win, to play with great players and to get to the NBA. A combination of all those factors lured the Wildcats’ four starting freshmen to Lexington, and under John Calipari’s coaching, Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley-Stein are just starting to roll, learning to thrive playing the college game. Chris Mannix breaks down what each brings to the team.
Over the last three years 21 players have been selected in the first round of the NBA draft after finishing their freshman seasons. Nine (42.9%) have been from Kentucky, and the trend will likely continue with this year’s group. Says one NBA executive from a Western Conference team, “I’ll be watching Kentucky all season. It’s NBA U” (page 46).