Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey declares for NBA Draft
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Kentucky freshman guard Tyrese Maxey has declared for the NBA Draft, following the path of fellow Kentucky sophomore Ashton Hagans, who declared Sunday.
The 6-foot-3 native of Texas is a projected Top-10 pick in most mocks including ESPN.com.
“This year getting to
rep Kentucky across my chest was everything I could have imagined,”
Maxey said. “I got to play for a Hall of Famer, be pushed every day by
the best coaches in the country, compete alongside
great teammates and work with a support staff that is the gold standard
– just like Coach Cal promised.
“Even though I didn’t
get a chance to compete for my ultimate goal, this season was everything
I signed up for. I know I’m a better player and man for embracing the
challenge of playing for Kentucky.
“It’s time for my next
challenge though. My dream has always been to play in the NBA and I know
I’m prepared for this because I’m Wildcat made.
“Thank you to the Big
Blue Nation, my coaches, teammates and everyone who has played a part in
making this an incredible year. I will always bleed blue.”
In addition to his 14.0 points per game, Maxey averaged 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He shot 42.7 percent from the floor and made 33 3-pointers in 2019-20.
“There was no player I
was harder on this year than Tyrese, and there’s a reason for that,” UK
head coach John Calipari sad. “One, he’s a great kid with a confidence
in his ability that does not waver. Two, he
has a potential that he has only begun to realize. And three, Tyrese
needed to be challenged to take that next step.
“Tyrese made that leap
this season. He met every challenge and became one of the best guards in
the country. Not only was it his dream to play at Kentucky, he wanted
to be coached. He’s going to do great in that
league because there’s nothing he can’t do. He can handle the ball, he
can shoot, he’s got great athleticism and he really defended as the
season went on. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of what Jamal Murray was
able to do and we know how well he’s done in
“I’m so happy for Tyrese and his family.”
Kentucky has another crop of projected NBA picks coming in this season, including guards and wings Devin Askew, Terrence Clarke and B.J. Boston.Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd Like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.