Another Kentucky Wildcats Offseason of Huge Turnover Already Well Underway

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9-16, 8-9 in league For the first time since 2013, and just the third since 1991, the Kentucky Wildcats missed the NCAA Tournament. With a record of 9-16 (8-9 in the SEC) it was a season to forget in Lexington, and the kind of campaign that almost never, ever happens to Big Blue.

Kentucky leads everybody in total NCAA tournament appearances (59), NCAA tournament wins (131), NCAA Tournament games played (184), NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances (45), NCAA Elite Eight appearances (38), total postseason tournament appearances (68), and conference regular season champions (51, 49 in the Southeastern Conference). So they’ll be back, and soon, but with a very different look.

The Kentucky Wildcats are always reloading, and every season, at least in the John Calipari era, they are very young. This past season was extremely young, even by their standards however. Roster turnover is part of the Big Blue Nation experience, and the churn is already well underway.

Just a couple hours ago, Brandon Boston became the third Wildccats player to declare for the 2021 NBA Draft. A co-leading scorer of the team, and the leading rebounder among the UK guards, he’s a blue chip NBA prospect. He’s declared his intentions to stay in the draft, and this was expected, ever since he set foot on campus.

Arguably the jewel of Caliapari’s freshmen class, he was widely expected to be one-and-done, as he projects to be a mid-to-late first rounder.

Freshman forward Isaiah Jackson just declared on Wednesday, but he left the option open to return to school for his sophomore season. This was smart as the 6-10 four man projects as a early-to-mid second rounder, and he might find himself best served by coming back, once he’s received feedback from the NBA Draft exploratory process.

Another freshman, Terrence Clarke, announced that he’s entering the draft at the end of day on Friday. Like Boston, he’s forgoing his remaining eligibility with an intent on staying in the draft. He projects as a mid-to-late second rounder, so he has a lot of work to do in order to impress the scouts.

Clarke was one of the team’s leading scorers, until he got hurt, and he had to miss all of the SEC season. His fitness is the main question he’ll have to answer for potentially interested NBA GMs.

So we’re not even through the first weekend of March Madness, the SEC Tournament isn’t even a week old yet, and you have had three Wildcats enter the draft. On the flip side though, having perused a ton of NBA mock drafts on the web, the only Kentucky Wildcats you’ll see listed in any of them are the triad that already declared.

So it’s very likely that you won’t see anyone else on this roster leave school early for the draft.

While the Kentucky Wildcats are not a part of this March Madness, you have 48 teams right now that still are.

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You can bet on or against any of them by checking out BetQL for point spreads, moneylines, over/unders and much more, for every NCAA tournament game.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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