Tuesday, April 17th 2012 will be long remembered as a somber day in the history of Kentucky basketball. Not only was it the tax deadline, it was the beginning of the end for 2012′s incredible team and their unbelievable season. On a night when many were rushing to the post office to send off their taxes in a last-minute rush, five underclassmen sat down at a humble table, and gave the great state of Kentucky one last send-off of their own. Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Marquis Teague all declared their intentions to leave Kentucky for the NBA this summer.
In an unusual move that coach John Calipari himself said he wasn’t expecting, all five players decided to announce their decisions as a group, instead of the usual announce-when-it’s-decided mentality that players take on individually. Instead of sparse announcements being made over the course of the next few weeks, Kentucky’s players came together for one last team effort, and all declared for the NBA draft together.
“We made it work,” Terrence Jones said regarding the group press conference. “We all wanted to be there and do it together like we’ve done everything else together.” Jones captures a sentiment that has permeated the entire team throughout the season. Terrence knows as well as anyone on the team how well these players support one another. During the lowest point in his career, when a finger injury was preventing him from achieving and criticism was rampant, his teammates stood up for him and helped to deflect much of the media pressure, both on and off the court.
He’s right. They’ve done everything together They started the season together, won together, lost together, and eventually triumphed in the biggest way possible together. No one in Kentucky is happy to see them go, but everyone is proud of what they’ve accomplished and the way in which they’ve done it.
All five players will have long and successful professional careers, and they’ll do so because they are mature young men who have good heads on their shoulders and the talent to match.
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.