James Young to the NBA Draft | Zagsblog
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Wednesday / June 7.
  • James Young to the NBA Draft

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    Young_James_2013-14By JOSH NEWMAN

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    James Young became the first Kentucky domino to fall as the school announced on Thursday afternoon that the freshman wing would enter the NBA Draft after just one season in Lexington.

    A 6-foot-7 native of Rochester Hills, Mich., Young is the first Wildcat underclassman to declare for the draft. Fellow-freshman Julius Randle has not officially declared, but is expected to, while sophomore big man Willie Cauley-Stein announced he will return to school for his junior season. 

    “He is one of the best shooters in the draft,” a veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “He is a skilled player who needs to play harder and become a better individual defender.”

    That same NBA scout said he would choose Young in the Lottery.

    “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 in a school-issued press release. “I’ve learned more this year, on and off the court, about life from Coach Cal and the staff and appreciate all of their guidance and support.”

    Much of the pre-draft focus in Lexington has centered on the futures of freshman guards Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison. 

    Young is currently slotted as the 15th overall pick by DraftExpress, which has Randle at No. 4. DraftExpress currently has five Wildcats going in 2015 with Cauley-Stein at No. 8, freshman center Dakari Johnson at No. 18, Aaron Harrison at No. 25, Andrew Harrison at No. 30 and sophomore wing Alex Poythress at No. 41.

    “From day one, the NBA people who came to our practices in the preseason raved about him,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. “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. Whatever team drafts James is not only getting a superb athlete, they are getting the ultimate teammate.”

    In his lone season at Kentucky, Young averaged 14.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from 3-point range.

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