Despite mock draft projections, don’t look for Cats to return to UK

Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery both likely will remain in the NBA draft.  (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

If you are a Kentucky basketball fan looking for reasons to hope Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards and/or EJ Montgomery might return to UK for another season then take a look at the lasest ESPN mock draft.

Tyrese Maxey has already declared for the draft and he’s projected go 12th in the lottery. Ashton Hagans has also opted to stay in the draft but he’s projected to go only 53rd — late in the second round — by ESPN.

The draft has 60 picks and Richards, despite his dramatic improvement last season, is projected to be picked 57th.

What about Quickley, the SEC player of the year? ESPN has him only going 58th.

And Montgomery is not even on the mock draft list even though many continue to insist he’s going to turn pro no matter what.

NBAdraft.net’s consensus rankings have Maxey 16th and Hagans going 26th at the end of the first round.

Richards moves up to 42nd in this mock consensus while Quickley is again rated at 58th. What about Montgomery? Again, no mention of his name in this consensus listing either.

Bottom line, though, is mock drafts are better than guesses but not always. Will projections influence decisions Quickley, Richards and Hagans make? Not likely and my guess remains all three are going to join Hagans and Maxey in the draft.

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