This is probably not the kind of distraction that the Kentucky Wildcats were hoping for the night before their big Sweet 16 rematch with the Indiana Hoosiers. On Thursday multiple sources claimed that freshman forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will enter the 2012 NBA Draft after the Wildcats’ season ends.
I’m assuming Kentucky’s fans all just did a collective face-palm. Especially when you consider that earlier this season head coach John Calipari claimed he disliked the “one-and-done” rule and wished more players stayed in school.
Uh, John? Simple solution: If you want your players to stay longer, recruit kids more likely to stay in school.
One source said the following about Kidd-Gilchrist:
“He hopes he’ll be able to announce right after they win the NCAA championship. But even if they don’t win it all, he’s coming. He knows he’s going to be a top-five pick. He can’t pass that up.”
The player later responded on Twitter by saying he had no idea where the report was coming from and that he was completely focused on winning games.
Earlier this month, Kidd-Gilchrist told reporters he loved Kentucky and planned on staying at and graduating from the school. Anyone who believed that was foolish.
This season the 6’7″ freshman is averaging 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game.
While fellow freshman Anthony Davis is getting most of the national attention and could win National Player of the Year, Kidd-Gilchrist is definitely Kentucky’s Most Valuable Player. He is the kind of glue guy that every team needs and without him the Wildcats wouldn’t be a national title threat.
Kidd-Gilchrist will almost certainly be a top-10 pick in this year’s draft so it makes sense that he would turn pro. This is just a horrible time for that kind of news to come out. I’m not sure who leaked this to the press but it’s a pretty safe bet they are in the kid’s doghouse right now.