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.