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Six SEC players projected in first round of NBA draft

PJ Washington  (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky is used to having players taken in the first round of the NBA Draft. It’s practically expected with the talent that coach John Calipari brings in annually.

This year will be no different with three Wildcats — PJ Washington, Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson — expected to go in the top 20 of the draft based on mock draft projections.

However, three other SEC players are also expected to go in the first round — with others slated for the second round — and that might be one reason six SEC teams are listed among the schools with the top 25 recruiting classes for next season.

Remember Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland? He missed almost all of last season, one reason the Commodores did not win a league game. He is projected to go No. 8 in the draft

Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland, who missed the majority of the season due to a knee injury, is expected to be the first SEC player off the board at No. 8 to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Also listed in the first round are LSU freshman Naz Reid and Arkansas sophomore center Daniel Gafford.

Tennessee junior Grant Williams is seen as a potential first-round pick in many mock drafts, second round in others. Tennessee teammate Admiral Schofield, Auburn’s Chuma Okeke and Missouri’s Jontay Porter, who was also injured last season, are mock draft second round picks.

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  1. It should be 7, but Reid Travis got a raw deal at KY. He showed what he was capable of doing when PJ went down at the end of the season. He should have been used like that all season long. Calapari falls in love with a player and then holds back others to promote his favorite. Julius Randle fell victim to that because Cal was so gaga with Andrew Harrison. Julius should have been a monster in college, yet Cal held him to about 18 points a game. He could have very easily doubled his numbers on another team. The same holds true for Reid. He could have been a 20/10 guy here instead of the 8/6 guy that Cal held him to. I was surprised to see Sestina come here after witnessing that, but maybe he figures with PJ gone, he will have a better time of it. Its almost a certainty that Kerry Blackshear will take notice of what happened to Reid and go somewhere else. Cal is his own worst enemy…after me of course, Pup. Cry, scream, and kick all you want, but Cal is going to take another top rated recruiting class and not win a national title…bank on it. Why do you think Wiseman and Jefferies decided not to come here? HELLO BBN! You should be seeing a pattern by now. Barnhart, its time for you to wake up to what you’ve allowed to happen. Cal is not going to catch UCLA in national titles won. If anything, he is going to be the reason that Duke or North Carolina, if not both, pass us. Cal is a great guy, but he is not going to take our program where we want it to go. Maybe Rah Rahs like Pup and Hornet are ok with this, but the rest of BBN wants to see KY as the leader in national titles won to go along with being the winningest program in college basketball. Rah Rah Rah!!!

    1. The resident “TROLL” is like a broken record. We’ll see Troll.

      1. Sad to say, but…
        It’s becoming more and more evident that a radical lobotomy is the only solution for what ails Catman.

      2. Unfortunately, we will all see. We will have a 30 – 3 record and will lose in the regional final just like we did last year. Winning big games is a habit and for all of the teams that Cal has taken to the NCAA tourney, he has only won ONCE…hence the OAD coach. I take no pleasure in making this prediction…it just means that I have to suffer through another Big Dance, but BBN is getting used to that.

        1. TROLL, It wouldn’t matter with you anyway because any coach UK had or hired, you would trash just to make yourself seem relevant here on VV’s. Why, because you are no Kentucky fan at all. No real fan of a program can be as negative as you are all the time, especially with the record Calipari has at UK, and the football program soaring to new heights. You are one to be ignored, because everything you post is negative to UK sports. Have at it hoss, show your A$$.

        2. @ Catman:

          If my memory serves me correctly, there are over 350 schools that are full members of Division I College Basketball conferences.

          It doesn’t take a lot of gambling guts to predict that any certain team will NOT make a Final 4 OR win a National Championship in any given season.

          TAKE YOUR MEDS

  2. BBN doesn’t need losers like you two. You are a cancer to our program. Letting a coach think that not winning national titles is ok is not what KY basketball is all about. Wining a national title every 15 or 20 years doesn’t cut it here. That fact that you two are ok with that shows that you aren’t real KY fans. REAL Kentucky fans aren’t going to accept that like the two of you have. You can both walk out the door when Cal does and that won’t be too far down the road. Then we will be rid of all of you.

    1. Easy now Catmandoo. If memory serves me right, UK went a long time before Hall won a title in 1978. then it was 1996 before the next one game. Did win again in 1998, but wasn’t it until 2012 before UK got another one. so way before Calipari got to UK, Kentucky was not winning the national title every year

      1. You are right Larry, but that is why Calipari was brought to KY…to change that pattern. I have pretty good connections inside the UK machine. Barnhart hired Cal to catch and pass UCLA and keep us the winningest program in college basketball. I don’t understand what happened…Cal was a great coach at UMass and Memphis. Becoming the head basketball coach here seems to mess with people. Billy Clyde was a great coach at Texas Tech, bombed here, and has rebounded from that at his current assignment. I had high hopes when Cal was hired. I thought he would be a difference maker. It turns out that he is no better than Hall or Smith and BBN encouraged both of these good coaches to move on.

        1. Seems to me Calipari has been pretty darn good

  3. Good Points, Larry.

    The odds of winning back to back championships are very slim in this present age of college basketball.
    I think Florida was the last team to do it and that was the result (for the most part) of every single starter on the initial championship team returning for the following year. That scenario is not likely to be repeated in the foreseeable future.
    Of course, some nearsighted folks are not able to comprehend such things.

  4. Everyone keeps making excuses about why we can’t win. Nobody is talking about winning a national title every year. But there are schools that are winning two every 10 years and 3 every 15. That is what we should be doing. When did losing become so acceptable here?

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