Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey declares for NBA Draft | Zagsblog
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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.
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Saturday / May 30.
  • Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey declares for NBA Draft

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    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 the NBA.

    “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.

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    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.