Kentucky Wildcats basketball players in 2022 mock NBA draft

Days after the annual Kentucky Pro Day event and just three days before the unofficial start of the basketball season with Big Blue Madness, a new ranking of the NBA’s Top 100 Prospects for next year’s draft has been published.

ESPN updated its Top 100 Prospect List on Tuesday, with just two Wildcats – freshmen TyTy Washington and Daimion Collins – making the cut.

Washington – a 6-foot-3 point guard from Phoenix – is ranked 16th, just two spots outside of lottery reach, on the ESPN roster. Washington was the 14th overall prospect in the recruiting class of 2021, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

Collins – a 6-foot-9 forward from Atlanta, Texas – is No. 19 on the ESPN roster. He is a super athletic and high potential player, although he currently weighs 202 pounds and has a slim build for the college level. Collins was the # 15 rookie in the 2021 class.

No other Kentucky player has been listed in ESPN’s top 100.

The Wildcats roster also includes junior great man Oscar Tshiebwe, junior forward Keion Brooks and junior point guard Sahvir Wheeler, among other draft prospects. (The UK will also have two players, guards Davion Mintz and Kellan Grady, who will no longer be eligible for college after this season).

With a star-studded freshman class scheduled for Lexington next summer – and with few UK players seemingly likely to make it into next year’s NBA Draft – it will be interesting to look at the mechanics of the roster over the next few months.

Grady and Mintz will be starting Kentucky backcourt after this season – and Washington could also leave earlier – but that would still leave Wheeler and shooting guards CJ Fredrick and Dontaie Allen as possible returns in a program that will bring the point guard. five-star Skyy Clark, five-star shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe, and (likely) five-star combo guard Cason Wallace.

Kentucky will also add five-star winger Chris Livingston. The Cats currently have Brooks, Jacob Toppin and Bryce Hopkins to play that type of role, and all of them will have college eligibility beyond this season.

The UK have no frontline commitments for the 2022 class, and the Cats could miss five-star center Adem Bona. This season’s post players will be Tshiebwe, Collins and second-year forward Lance Ware.

Bona and Wallace are the only 2022 rookies remaining on Kentucky’s offer list, although the UK may again explore the transfer portal or possible reclassification candidates if there is a need for a list. in spring.

NBA Draft Ranking

Once again, recent rookies dominate the top of the NBA Draft preseason standings.

The top six players on the ESPN roster all came from the recruiting class of 2021. Gonzaga freshman Chet Holmgren is No.1, followed by Duke freshman Paolo Banchero, the newcomer to the G League Jaden Hardy, Memphis freshman Jalen Duren, Auburn freshman Jabari Smith, and Michigan freshman Caleb Houstan. (Emoni Bates, a high-profile freshman from Memphis, won’t be eligible for the NBA Draft until 2023, due to league age rules).

Banchero, Hardy, and Duren were all major recruiting targets in Kentucky.

In total, 10 of the 14 lottery picks on ESPN’s list were in the recruiting class of 2021.

Ben Roberts covers basketball, football, horse racing and other sports in the UK for the Lexington Herald-Leader and has specialized in recruiting basketball in the UK for several years. He also maintains the Next Cats recruiting blog, which features the latest news on the Wildcats recruiting efforts.
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