As senior night approaches every year, the media always turns to Kentucky’s seniors. Guys are suddenly put in the spotlight, despite barely being covered all year. This week wasn’t any different, and everyone suddenly starting questioning whether or not Kentucky’s backup center Eloy Vargas (averaging only 6.7 minutes a game) has a realistic shot at a career in the NBA. A lot of fans probably chuckled at the thought of our awkward-but-lovable Eloy taking it to the next level, but there seems to be a very real chance that Eloy Vargas might just be Kentucky’s next draft pick this year.
Coach Cal thinks so at least. He was actually pretty definitive on the matter, offering this firm piece of praise, “he will be a professional player. He has great size and all those things. He will be fine. Both he and Darius both have college degrees and both will have opportunities to play professionally.” I think Calipari knows better than anyone where Vargas stands. He sees him play every day and knows the NBA scouting climate better than any coach in college basketball.
For those non-believers out there. Just take a look at Vargas’ numbers. And I don’t mean his laughable in-game statistics. He’s 6’11″ and 244 pounds. He’s not the most naturally talented player, and could stand to bulk up some more, but he has some size. He’s held his own against some of SEC’s most formidable post players. He has a great head on his shoulders. And how many guys get to guard the best post player in the country every single day in practice? Vargas is getting better every day and was already competent interior defender. There are a lot of positives to build on here, and a number of NBA teams would be willing to take a chance that he’ll provide just as valuable a backup in the league.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the team who drafts Davis picks up Vargas too, something about their in-practice tandem seems to be working wonders for Davis. Who would want to break that trend?
And for those of you wondering how I got to the completely outrageous value of eight draft picks, I went ahead and threw Wiltjer in the mix. I don’t really believe Kentucky will have eight draft picks this year, but I do believe it’s possible. Wiltjer and Vargas could both go in the second round without too much trouble.
Filed Under: Basketball
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.