Kentucky men’s basketball coach John¿Calipari expects six of his former players to be picked in the NBA¿Draft.
Terrence Jones, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller and Marquis Teague will be on the draft board and Calipari said “it’s pretty clear” that Davis will be the second Kentucky player taken as the top pick in the past three years. John¿Wall was chosen as the school’s first No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft. Calipari isn’t sure who will follow his former center, but said he thinks Kidd-Gilchrist and Jones will be close behind Davis on the draft chart.
According to Calipari, Lamb, Miller and Teague “are in great shape” and have “proven themselves.”
“Now, they have to go prove themselves again,” he said. “You have to go workout, you have to show you’re in great shape. You have to show that you are chasing something special.”
Calipari, who will attend the draft, while juggling his coaching duties with the Dominican National Team, “hopes” all six players will hear their names called in the first round.
“I would be surprised if four are not,” he said. “I would say four are locks and the other two have to go work out.”
Calipari added that Miller has turned some heads during his workout sessions and his stock appears to be rising as draft day approaches.
“Somebody called me the other day about Darius (Miller) and he had a great workout,” he said. “The team liked him. A lot of people like Darius based on the fact of how he played, how he sacrificed, his skill set, his size.
“They liked him. You are seeing teams now in the NBA that are not talking about isolations, they are talking about team. You see Oklahoma City, who decided to come here and work out for four days. It helped them much, wouldn’t you say? They are playing like a team, and so are San Antonio, Boston and Miami. They want to be great teams. They want players like Darius Miller who they know will be a great teammate.”
As for Jones, Calipari said the extra year of college is paying dividends.
“He is in a better position,” he said. “We had a good idea of where he would have gone last year. He is in a better position. The other side of it is he knew he wasn’t ready. He helped himself. He is now mature and he helped himself.”
In the meantime, Calipari is giving his former players advice in preparation for their next step in life.
“I’ll talk to them but that’s what their agent’s job is to do. What their agent should be doing is having them in workouts, having them be trained. What we’re doing here is getting them prepared for that and then they do mock interviews, what to say, what not to say. There are times when they go into interviews and they say the wrong things and it’ll get back to me or the agent.”