Great week ahead for UK basketball

By: Steve Moss
By: Steve Moss

What a great week this could prove to be for the Big Blue Nation and their beloved basketball Wildcats.

What a great week this could prove to be for the Big Blue Nation and their beloved basketball Wildcats.

On Thursday, John Wall will lead a parade of Cats across the stage at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, where as many as five Kentucky players will be selected during the 2010 NBA Draft.  All five are projected to be first round picks, which would be the most selected from one school in draft history.

Wall is the odds-on favorite to become UK's first ever No. 1 pick.  The Washington Wizards own the pick and have all but said publicly that Wall was their choice.  Wall worked out for the Wizards last week.

Sam Bowie is the highest drafted Wildcat to date --  Bowie was the No. 2 pick of the Trailblazers back in 1984.

DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson are projected to be lottery picks in this year's draft.  Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton are expected to be taken before the end of the first round.

These five Wildcats undoubtedly will go down in UK history as one of the most talented groups ever to play at Kentucky.  The freshman class that coach John Calipari brought to UK in his first season, led by Wall and Cousins, is regarded by many as the greatest ever.  Joined by Jon Hood and Darnell Dodson, the Class of 2009 didn't disappoint, leading the Cats to a 35-3 record and a spot in the regional final.

Wall, Cousins, Patterson, Bledsoe and Orton are expected to be in attendance on Thursday night, along with their coach, which would allow ESPN an opportunity to showcase the UK program.

Having already signed the top-rated recruiting class for next year, Calipari is leading the Cats in a renaissance, sparking comparisons to the mid-90s, when UK appeared in three straight Final Fours and won two national titles.

Calipari is in the midst of putting together a third straight No. 1 recruiting class by getting commitments from the top players in the Class of 2011.

For UK fans, and its players and coaches, this could be quite a week.

Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.

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