Swingman James Young became the first of Kentucky’s latest talented freshman class to officially declare his intentions to leave after one season for a shot at the NBA Draft.
Young averaged 14.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in his only season with the Wildcats, who reached the national championship game before losing to Connecticut earlier this month.
“My time at Kentucky has been special to me, something I’ll always treasure, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA,” Young said. “I’ve learned more this year, on and off the court, about life from coach (John Calipari) and the staff and appreciate all of their guidance and support.”
Young was impressive as a shooter during the 2013-14 season, making 82 3-pointers and hitting 42.6 percent from behind the arc. CBSSports.com projects Young as high as No. 16 on its board for the June 26 draft.
“I’m excited for James and his family and the decision he’s come to,” Calipari said. “From day one, the NBA people who came to our practices in the preseason raved about him. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him all season, investing himself in his brothers for the betterment of the team, and I think we all saw the end result in the tournament and Final Four.”
Kentucky teammate Willie Cauley-Stein said earlier in the week that he would return for his junior season. Freshman twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress have yet to reveal their intentions for next year.
The deadline for undergraduate college players to declare for the NBA Draft is April 27.
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