Kentucky’s 2013-14 roster is starting to take shape, and the alignment will have some surprises.
Archie Goodwin will enter the NBA Draft, UK announced 2 weeks after Goodwin insisted he would return for his sophomore season. And Willie Cauley-Stein who’d at least hinted he’d leave after a year at Kentucky, will return, the school announced.
Cauley-Stein averaged 8.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game as a freshman. Given his 7-foot, 244-pound frame and athleticism, Cauley-Stein was projected as a likely 1st-round NBA Draft choice.
After Kentucky’s season-ending loss to Robert Morris in the NIT, Cauley-Stein recounted he’d like to return, but said he would weigh his options and his family’s needs before making a decision.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to develop as an all-around player,” Cauley-Stein asserted in a release. “I’m also excited for the chance to try and win a national championship.”
Wiltjer, who averaged 10.5 points per game as a sophomore, had been rumored to be considering a transfer. He announced that he would be returning to UK.
Cauley-Stein and Wiltjer will provide a veteran presence on a team set to feature at least 7 freshmen, guards Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison, swingman James Young and forwards Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee and Derek Willis.
“I’m excited that Willie and Kyle have come to a decision to return for next season,” UK coach John Calipari related in a release.
“When we discuss a players-first program, our goal is for each player to reach his dreams. Willie and Kyle believe it is in their best interest to come back to Kentucky next season to reach those dreams, and I totally support their decisions.
“Although I really wanted Archie to return for his sophomore season, I completely support him choosing to pursue his dreams. He’s got the drive and desire to be great and I’m going to continue to do everything I’ll to make sure he succeeds in life both off and on the court.”
Goodwin led Kentucky in scoring at 14.1 points per game as a freshman. The 6-foot-5, 198-pound guard is a projected late 1st-round draft choice. After the Wildcats’ loss to Robert Morris, Goodwin was adamant he’d return and asserted he and his freshman teammates were “delusional” if they believed they were ready for the NBA. Football lines
Goodwin has not signed with an agent.
“This is something I’ve dreamed about my whole life and I feel like the chance is there for me to play at the next level,” Goodwin said in a release.
Kentucky’s release noted that other player announcements will come later. Freshmen Nerlens Noel and Alex Poythress have yet to announce their intentions with regard to the NBA Draft.
Noel, who missed the last 9 games of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, is projected as the possible No. 1 pick in the June 27 NBA Draft. Poythress, who related after the season that he planned to return, is a probable 1st-round pick.