If you believe the so-called "experts", then UK basketball fans should prepare for life after Wall, Cousins and Bledsoe. According to www.nbadraft.com, the three heralded rookies will be rookies in the NBA next season. All three declined comment about their basketball future after UK's loss to West Virginia in the NCAA East Region final.
The mock draft says Wall will be the #1 overall selection by the New Jersey Nets. The Nets need a lot more than just John Wall to be competitive next season. Wall was named 1st team All-America and SEC Player of the Year. DeMarcus Cousins is slated to go to the Washington Wizard with the 4th overall selection. Like Wall, Cousins was also a 1st team All-American as well as SEC Freshman of the Year.
Eric Bledsoe's name has been mentioned throughout the season as a potential NBA draftee. NBAdraft.com says the Birmingham product would go to the Spurs with the 19th pick. Bledsoe said at the NCAA Tournament last week that "it's a good possibility" he would enter the NBA draft. Bledsoe showed flashes of brilliance this season at UK averaging 11 points a game, but Bledsoe also went through horrific shooting spells like the West Virginia game. However, NBA scouts love his 78 inch wingspan and outstanding leaping ability (40" vertical) which allows him to play bigger than his 6'1 size.
UK junior Patrick Patterson, who's name has been tossed around with leaving UK and staying, is not listed on the NBA mock draft in the first two rounds. First-round picks receive guaranteed contracts for two years. Second-round picks do not get guaranteed contracts, although some negotiate such deals.
~ Brian Milam