Kentucky coach John Calipari held court during a lengthy Wednesday press conference, discussing a wide range of topics, from his controversial blog post to his future septuagenarian self.
He also spoke about several players from his most recent team, including some who are either moving on from the program or still considering the possibility.
Here’s a breakdown of the latest NBA-related news on…
- Marcus Lee: The power forward is likely leaving. “My guess is, he’ll keep his name in the draft,” Calipari said. “This is what he wants to do. I just told him to go up there and do your thing, and show the athletic player that you are.”
- Isaiah Briscoe: The guard has worked out for three teams, and “did a pretty good job,” according to Calipari. “With Isaiah, the whole thing comes back to just shooting the ball, because they know every other skill that he has, translates … He just needs to be a more consistent shooter.”
- Alex Poythress: The senior’s knee is not fully healed, so his agent is not letting him go to the combine, and he won’t work out for NBA teams “until he’s 100 percent.” Calipari is confident that several pro teams are interested in the power forward.
- Jamal Murray: We already know the Wildcats star is gone, but Calipari gave him a glowing review Wednesday, comparing him to two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry. “6-5,” Calipari said. “He can really shoot it. (Pro scouts) saw him play point guard in Canada. They saw him play both positions here. They love now that he can play off the ball … You saw him go from a volume shooter to a high-percentage, efficient player who could play both positions.”
- Tyler Ulis: Calipari said “there are teams that won’t take Tyler because he’s 5-9,” but he also mentioned an NBA player who might be opening doors for the All-American: Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas, who’s also 5-foot-9. “It helped him,” Calipari said. “So any team that was afraid is gonna give him a second look.”
- Skal Labissiere: The 5-star freshman from Haiti is definitely leaving for the NBA, but Calipari says Labissiere would’ve been the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 or 2018 if “he had stayed in school.” Currently projected to land near middle of the first round, the 7-footer’s draft stock is “in good shape,” according to Calipari.