By Mary Paoletti
LEXINGTON, KY -- Kentucky prospects Marquis Teague, Mike Gilchrist, Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer are heading to the NBA. All are five-star prospects and three rank in the top 10 in the country. The school announced Wednesday all four high schoolers -- future Wildcats -- have declared for the 2012 draft.
"The time to declare just seemed right," said Teague. "I don't have much homework right now because of April vacation."
The news came just hours after freshmen Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight and junior DeAndre Liggins threw their names into this year's draft. None have signed agents, so they can return to school next fall if they change their mind by May 8.
That will never happen; this is Kentucky.
SI.com projects Jones and Knight as mid-to-high first-round picks. Liggins, a defensive specialist, could go in the first round.
The trio helped the Wildcats to their first Final Four appearance in 13 years this spring. It was an effort that some fans are calling "a tease."
"All season long coach has been tutoring me on the fine points of being a point guard," Knight said, "in the NBA."
Calipari encouraged all three players to test their prospects but added he would "would love the opportunity to continue to coach them again next season."
Nobody who has ever had contact with or has read anything about Calipari believes that.
Freshman guard Doron Lamb will come back next fall. Lamb commented that he hopes the incoming freshman class next season will help ease his loneliness. As for the fact that the four recruits have already declared for the 2012 draft: "I just try not to think about it," the less talented Lamb said before running out of the room.
The guard's return is a bright spot for he program. His status marks an increase in returning players after only one year. John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton all left for the pros last year after just one season on campus. So, yeah, one guy back is better than zero.
Hall of Fame coach Bobby Knight criticized Kentucky for promoting the "one-and-done" culture over the weekend. He released an apology via ESPN on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he described himself as "totally bullshit."
From a new statement: "This 'one-and-dones' stuff is out of control. I made it personal to Kentucky and its players the other day for a reason and everybody jumped on my ass. Well, look who's right after all. If you think I'm apologizing again, you're out of your goddamn mind. Somebody find me a chair. Or Neil Reed."
Top 10 prospect Anthony Davis exploded onto the national scene during the spring of his junior year. The 6'10", 22 lb power forward garnered immediate interest from Ohio State and Syracuse, but both teams randomly fell off the map after July's evaluation period.
Calipari and his assistants were seen dressed in all black at practically every game Davis played during the summer. They carried large sacks of money, as well as swords and crossbows.
The unlawful and painful recruiting effort paid off in August when Davis committed to Kentucky. Early reports suggested that Davis "felt really bad" about the bloodshed and "didn't want anyone else to get hurt" on his behalf.
Insinuations and rumors of recruiting violations were reported by the Chicago press, but nothing was proven. In a completely coincidental event, writer Michael O'Brien's body was recently found in The Chicago River.