Kentucky has been the epitome of a team this season. Whether stars, teenagers, or leftovers, they’ve come together both on and off the court in a magnificent display of teamwork and love. Their unity contributed to a national championship and one hell of a season for fans. Even as each individual heads forward for an NBA career full of personal glory, they are making one final move as a group, as a team. They’re announcing their NBA draft decisions, like they’ve done everything else, together.
Kentucky’s five underclassmen who were expected to potentially depart for the NBA draft are having one final press conference tonight, airing through various online venues and on ESPN, at 7 p.m. ET. Speculation suggests that all five players will be declaring for the draft, but thus far there are only reports indicating the departure of Jones, Davis, and Teague will be leaving. It would be an enormous surprise if any players return, but it still remains a very slight possibility.
This press conference is a perfect symbol for what Kentucky’s become under coach John Calipari. Not only are a staggeringly-large number of underclassmen likely declaring for the NBA draft, they’re doing it together. They are still less concerned with personal glory than the success of their friends and teammates. Calipari has instilled a sense of togetherness that’s rarely ever seen in college basketball, particularly with players this young and this talented. Kentucky basketball has become so large and successful that random press conferences (and practices, don’t forget) are nationally televised. It’s become a brand that’s represents success, which is exactly what it should be.
There will likely be tears from fans all over Kentucky with each subsequent player’s announcement, but tonight should be a joyful moment as much as a somber one. Kentucky has entered an era of success, and it’s far from over. Despite the fact that fans are losing so many beloved young players with whom they’ve journeyed throughout the year, it has been a wonderful ride, and it’s going to continue for a while to come.
Filed Under: Baseball
About the Author: Corey Tincher is a lifelong Kentucky fan and professional writer who couldn't keep the two worlds apart. He is the lead contributor for StraitCats.com and literally wrote the book on the 2012 NCAA Tournament Championship run, Big Blue Articles: Kentucky Basketball in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Follow @Corey_Tincher on Twitter for more Kentucky news and discussion.