Blog Entry

Knight gone for good; Jones, Liggins coming back?

Posted on: May 6, 2011 11:52 am

Posted by Matt Norlander

Just as I and pretty much everyone else assumed, the inevitable became the formal this morning, as Brandon Knight once and for all said he's staying in the NBA Draft.

Last week, the Kentucky freshman felt a shed of guilt about his future plans when talking to a group of youngins, opting to tell the wide-eyed youth of Kentucky he was still "50-50" on going back to school. But it was never that close, from what I understand. How could it have been for Knight? He was seen as a lottery pick for some time, and with the arrival of Marquis Teague this fall, there would've been a scenario that was less than optimal: Teague is seen as a much more natural point guard and better fit for John Calipari's dribble-drive offense.

"It was an opportunity I just couldn't pass up," Knight said at his press conference this morning. Knight's going because he got affirmation that he'll indeed be a top-10 pick. He also cited Kentucky's Final Four run and his accomplishments in one year under Calipari as evidence that he's ready to make the jump.

Most remarkable: this is the fourth consecutive year a starting point guard for John Calipari left for the NBA after his freshman year. Knight is preceded by John Wall, Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose.

Interestingly enough, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins were not sitting next to night at the table this morning. And Jones, in fact, used the same phrase on Twitter -- 50-50 -- in regard to his status (is "50-50" going to be the new "weighing my options"?) last night.

Can't help but wonder if Jones' 50-50 is truly that, and not only that, but perhaps even more slanted toward returning since he and teammate DeAndre Liggins did not join their teammate in a press conference this morning. Liggins is said to be in New Jersey this weekend, getting those last-minute workouts and evaluations in. We won't have to wait much longer to know; the deadline to withdraw and head back to campus is Sunday.

I think both will return, though I'd understand if Liggins left, even though he'd likely not get taken until the second round. There's yet another stacked class coming to Kentucky next season, so he could be fighting for more playing time, even though he'd be a senior. With that possibility, and with a weak draft this year, it's easy to see how he would want to take the leap now knowing, definitively, he'll be picked.

But if he came back I wouldn't be shocked. Calipari would love him back, certainly. It's not often he has such a reliable, long, veteran defensive specialist.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: May 7, 2011 9:31 pm

Knight gone for good; Jones, Liggins coming back?

Jones has already announced via Twitter that he is returning to UK. Liggins hasn't said anything yet, but I read elsewhere that scouts have told him he needed another year of college to try to raise his stock. UK will be stacked next season.

Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2011 3:27 pm

Knight gone for good; Jones, Liggins coming back?

And I suppose Usama bin Laden is still alive and having a beer with Elvis somewhere?  Don't insult other posters in the "real" world when you live in a fantasy world. 

Since: May 6, 2011
Posted on: May 7, 2011 2:17 pm

Knight gone for good; Jones, Liggins coming back?

Saying he is not cheating but everyone else around him is a very nieve perception. I got news for ya he knows everything that is going on with these players and world wide wes. he is running a crooked program that sold its soul to get back on top. You probably believe that barry bonds did not know what they were injecting in him too. What I tell all KY fans is remember all the things YOU said about the guy before he was YOUR coach.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2011 12:42 pm

Knight gone for good; Jones, Liggins coming back?

I don't see any way that Jones come back. This is an extremely weak draft year, which provides Jones the perfect opportunity to take advantage of from a financial standpoint, since he should be picked somewhere between 10th to 18th (at the worst). Additionally, he has the style of game that will allow him to smoothly fit in with any NBA team.

As for Liggins, it really is 50-50 on whether or not he will leave because I hear there is a lot of doubt on whether or not he will be drafted.
However, if Liggins feels strongly that he will be drafted, then he will definitely leave. At any rate, I am looking forward to next year when college players will no longer be allowed to "test the waters" for the better part of two months after the season ends. Starting next year, these players will have to make their intentions known by mid-April, which will allow coaches and returning players to start planning for next season by knowing exactly who will be on the roster.

Although the NCAA doesn't do many things right, they have finally made a decision that benefits the college game, in contrast to the current setup, in which every part of the draft scenario has been totally tilted to what has been convenient for the NBA.

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: May 7, 2011 1:04 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: May 6, 2011 11:34 pm

Knight gone for good; Jones, Liggins coming back?

Are you serious? just because he signs great talent he gives cbb a black eye. Do you know why these two schools were on probation ? If you weren't so quick to judge & knew anything about the situation you'd know coach Cal was not implicated in anything. He is simply vilified because he is successful. Many coaches have done far worst things.

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: May 6, 2011 9:43 pm

Knight gone for good; Jones, Liggins coming back?

None of them are coming back. These one and done kids do not sign with Kentucky to get an eduction or win championships they sign with John Calipari and World Wide Wes to play in the NBA. Calipairi gives college basketball a black eye. He has already put two schools on probation. It is just a matter of time before the NCAA busts him again.

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:55 pm

Knight gone for good; Jones, Liggins coming back?

I think Knight is special, sort of like Isiaah thomas

Since: May 6, 2011
Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:35 pm

Knight gone for good; Jones, Liggins coming back?

Who really cares. they are all making enough money at kentucky anyway. We all know what is going on in lexington so I dont even consider these guys amateurs anyway.

Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: May 6, 2011 5:07 pm

Knight gone for good; Jones, Liggins coming back?

All 3 should go.  Knight is a top 10 pick, Jones will go in the mid teens and Liggins in the 2nd round.  i have to think the only thing holding Jones and Liggins back (for right now) is worry about a lockout.  But this year's draft is going to be a little weaker than we have seen in the past, so i really think now is the time for Liggins to make the leap, because he probably wouldn't get drafted in 2012.

Any thoughts?

That's their decision to make. I can't say either way whether I think they should go or stay since I believe that decision should be based on what they've been told by the NBA scouts.

But I disagree about next years draft being stronger than this years draft especially if the NBA changes its rules on the the one and done issue.

Now if hypothetically Jones decided to stay another year he could potentially play his way into a top five pick next season. And Liggins could play his way into the first round.

As it is Jones is looking at being picked 10th-18th and Liggins is on the outside and looking in at the second round so there's no guaranteed money for him at all and probably not much for Jones as it stands.....Knight has money waiting on him regardless of what happens with the lockout.

Oh and one last thing about the lockout. It's being said and written that it's 100% going to happen. Not one of those deals where it might or may happen it's coming so that definitely has to weigh in on their decision. JMO.

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