Jeff Goodman tweeted earlier today that DeAndre Liggins will have a press conference tomorrow at 2:00 PM, where he is expected to announce he will remain in the 2011 NBA Draft. Liggins was said to be amongst the best performers at the New Jersey Combine, and that fact together with the announcement of a press conference almost certainly argue for a decision to move on to the NBA.
Liggins may well have gotten a guarantee from one team or another to be drafted, although I'd be totally shocked if he wound up in the first round. Nevertheless, it is not a bad decision for Liggins to go this year, as he would have to fight for minutes next year and even though I expect he would earn them, he would seem to have a fairly tough battle to get into the first round next year given the expected strength of the 2012 draft.
Of course, this isn't what I or any other Kentucky fan wanted to see, but hopefully Liggins has done enough to ensure himself a position somewhere in the draft, and I have no doubt he can earn his way onto a basketball team given the remarkable improvement we have seen in his game over the last two years. He is one of the very best defensive players available in the draft at any level this year, and with his improving offensive game, it would not be at all surprising if he impressed the NBA decision-makers enough to get one or more teams interested enough to guarantee him a shot.
But you never know for sure, so until the fat lady sings, I suppose there is still a fool's hope of his return. We'll know for sure tomorrow at 2:00 PM.
UPDATE: The AP now reports it is a done deal. The press conference is just a formality.