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Kentucky's five underclassmen declare for the draft

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer
The young Cats are predictably NBA-bound. (Getty Images)

This comes as little shock to the college basketball world, but Kentucky still made the opportunity to create a spectacle out of its underclassmen's announcement to enter the NBA draft Tuesday night.

After hesitating and saying that "Anthony, Terrence and Doron" would enter the draft, Kentucky coach John Calipari gave up the joke and let the non-secret out of the bag: All five youngins are indeed headed to the NBA.

"They came to me and said they wanted to do this together," Calipari said Tuesday night at the team's press conference.

Freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, as well as sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb, are through with their college careers at Kentucky, the news coming 15 days after those five and senior Darius Miller led the program to its eighth national championship.

Calipari started the press conference and used the open mic to boast up his players' abilities. At times, it sounded like he was reading something like a bio graf off of DraftExpress.com. Never missing an opportunity to take a shot at Rick Pitino, Calipari also said, "Anybody that tells you in one or two years you cannot create a bond, they're crazy."

At the Final Four, Pitino said he could never coach one-and-dones because he cares too much, gets too emotionally involved. So, yeah, in the press conference about Kentucky's players leaving, Calipari managed to get his own message embedded in there as well.

"They understand why they're in school," Calipari said. "They're here to get an education. These guys are all going to finish the term."

The five underclassmen combined to average 62.1 points per game, led by Davis' 14.2 clip. Davis led the team with 10.4 rebounds per game, and Teague put up a Wildcats-best 4.8 assists per game. Davis won nearly every national player- and freshman-of-the-year award, as well as defense player of the year.

"I'd like to thank everyone who helped me become this great player that I am," Davis said, and yes you should read that quote again.

Davis is expected to go No. 1 overall, and Kidd-Gilchrist could easily go No. 2. All five Kentucky players are projected as first-round picks.
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