Jun 5, 2014 1:42 PM by Alan Cutler
This might seem like a change. Sports Illustrated looks at the top 15 NBA prospects for the 2015 draft. It isn't surprising to see UK have four players listed, but none of the four are freshman.
To Willie Cauley-Stein.
"The modest 8.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game Cauley-Stein averaged as a sophomore don't matter. Nor does the fact that he came off the bench for most of last season. What does matter are his 7-foot, 250-pound frame and 166 career blocked shots. Even with a foot injury suffered during the NCAA tournament, Cauley-Stein likely would have been a first-round pick this year for his size and ability to protect the rim. The overcrowded Kentucky frontcourt for next season - Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee return while touted recruits Karl Towns and Trey Lyles arrive - shouldn't alter perceptions of what Cauley-Stein offers."
To Aaron and Andrew Harrison.
"The twins were borderline first-round draft picks by most estimations before deciding to return to Lexington for their sophomore seasons. Even with the arrival of touted recruits Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker, the Harrisons should hold down the bulk of the backcourt minutes. At 6-6 apiece, they have the size to intrigue NBA teams. If Andrew Harrison progresses into another Deron Williams-type point guard and Aaron Harrison scores consistently and retains the clutch touch he demonstrated with multiple NCAA tournament buzzer-beaters, they should be more comfortably in the first-round range next summer."
To Dakari Johnson.
"The Wildcats' returning starter at center will have to share space with three other players - Cauley-Stein, Towns and Lyles - who could be first-round caliber prospects. And like Cauley-Stein, Johnson isn't defined by his 5.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per night. A 7-foot, 265-pound frame will do that, as will the fact that he still will be just 19 years old when the NBA draft rolls around next June. That potential should be too much for a team to ignore."
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