By LARRY VAUGHT
At this time last year Kevin Knox and Jarred Vanderbilt were preparing for their freshmen seasons at Kentucky.
Now Knox is a NBA lottery pick of the New York Knicks and Vanderbilt, a second-roundpick, has signed a three-year, $4-million deal with Denver.
They were back in Lexington Wednesday for the John Calipari Draft Academy. They both like what they have seen from this year’s team, including the experience that former teammates P.J. Washington, Nick Richards and Quade Green will bring this year.
“PJ, Quade, Nick, all played a lot of minutes last year,” Knox said. “I think that’s going to help. Those last two minutes of the game, when it comes down to crunch time, they’ve been in that situation and be able to step up as leaders to help the young guys.
“We’ve got a lot of good young guys here, so I think as far as having some sophomores on the team, that’s going to be really good for them.”
Vanderbilt believes experience is even more valuable than maybe what he realized a year ago.
“Just because they’ve done it, they’re able to lead the young guys. Last year we had to figure it out on our own. We had nobody to look to really,” Vanderbilt said.
“But this year, having a lot of veteran guys, it’ll make it easier for the younger guys because they know the ropes and they know the expectations and how big it is to play at this level. I think it’ll help them out a lot.”