UK Basketball: ESPN's Bilas has four Wildcats going in first round of NBA draft
Marquis Teague will be the last Kentucky player picked in the first round of Thursday's NBA draft, according to ESPN analyst Jay Bilas. Bilas said he expects four Wildcats to be selected in the first round, with Teague going at around No. 23 or 24. (Victoria Graff / June 27, 2012)
Kentucky coach John Calipari is hoping to have six players selected in the first round Thursday night, with Anthony Davis being the top overall pick just as the Wildcats’ John Wall was in 2010.
However, Bilas has only Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones and Marquis Teague joining Davis in the first round, with Doron Lamb and Darius Miller dropping to the second round.
“I’ve got Doron Lamb ranked 32nd, so he would be just in the second (round). That’s pretty good,” Bilas said Tuesday on an ESPN NBA draft teleconference. “Kentucky has a lot of good players. I’ve got Miller in the second round. I think he’s in the middle, probably in the 30s or 40s. Miller’s at 43 or 44 if I remember right.”
Bilas has Teague going with the 23rd or 24th pick, while he has Kidd-Gilchrist in the top five to seven picks and Jones in the 15 to 20 range.
“I think it’s a draft that’s got really good depth of good players, players that can come in and make a team some starters, some rotation players, stuff like that deep into the second round. But it’s not a draft of a lot of superstars,” Bilas said. “I’m not sure how much difference there is in the 10th pick or the 20th pick. There is some difference, but I’m not sure it’s that extreme in this draft. There are always kind of tiers of players.
“There will be guys that come out of this draft and maybe surprise us. It’s happened in just about every draft, but it doesn’t have a depth of sure-fire stars. Anthony Davis is the sure-fire one, I think. But after that there are players with question marks, but a lot of talent in the draft.”
Bilas has no questions about Davis, who swept the nation’s player of the year awards after leading UK in blocked shots and rebounding.and was named the most outstanding player in the Final Four.
“I think Davis is separated from the group. I don’t think there is an NBA decision-maker out there that would take anybody but Anthony Davis number one. That doesn’t mean he’s LeBron, but he is consensus number 1 in this draft,” Bilas said.
“There are some terrific values in this draft, and guys that are going to be really good players. I rate (Florida’s) Brad Beal the second-best prospect in the draft overall. I think he’s going to be really good. Whether it’s (Kansas’ Thomas) Robinson or (North Carolina’s) Harrison Barnes or all these different guys, there are guys that could wind up being terrific players down the line.”