A hot topic around this time of the season every year for Kentucky basketball fans is who's staying and who's going pro?
Since John Calipari has been in charge of the Cats, it's always a difficult question to answer, and this season is no different. One of the best ways to form your own opinion to answer these questions are to look at the NBA Mock Drafts. Here's a look at each player's projected destinations.
Murray is projected by DraftExpress to go eighth overall to the Denver Nuggets and 13th overall to the Utah Jazz by nbadraft.net. It's fair to say that most Kentucky fans believe that Murray is the one Cat that is for certain to enter the NBA Draft at the end of this season. His size and shooting ability as a shooting guard at the next level give him an upside that NBA franchises won't ignore.
His major downside is his defensive effectiveness, although with the size of most team's front line in the NBA that's something that can be helped. With Murray being a projected lottery pick there's not much doubt that his name will be called in the "green room".
Skal is projected to go tenth overall to the Orlando Magic by DraftExpress and not projected to be picked by nbadraft.net, who does have him listed as their 19th-best prospect. Skal has been the most debated player on this year's team about if he should enter the draft or return for his sophomore year. These two mock drafts show both sides of the debate: is he a lottery pick? Should he be drafted at all?
If you judge solely on production then no he should not be drafted. However, if you judge by potential, which NBA franchises do in many cases, then he will be drafted. Skal has shown the offensive skill to be a productive player in the NBA, but he must get stronger and become a better rebounder to reach his full potential.
Alex is projected to go 54th overall to Dallas by nbadraft.net and go undrafted according to DraftExpress who does have him listed as their 86th-best prospect for 2016. Alex will obviously be gone from Kentucky after this season since he's a senior but will he be drafted?
He definitely has the body to play in the NBA and the talent but is he consistent enough and does he want it enough? Poythress has shown glimpses of what he can be but will have to show it more often to impress an NBA franchise and make a roster.
Ulis is projected to go 51st overall to the Boston Celtics by DraftExpress and to go undrafted by nbadraft.net, who has him as their 67th-best player. Ulis has been Kentucky's best player all year long but his size is an issue for NBA franchises. Jay Bilas famously said "if you're good enough you're big enough" about Ulis in an earlier game this season.
Unfortunately for Ulis, his draft status isn't going to rise much most likely from where it is now no matter what he does. Tyler has the talent and the drive to make an NBA roster it all depends on if a team will give him a chance. With Tyler it all depends on how much he likes being in school on if he decides to return or enter the draft.
Briscoe is projected to go 32nd overall to the Los Angeles Lakers by DraftExpress and to go undrafted by nbadraft.net. Briscoe has been quietly consistent this season for Kentucky. He has the body to be a NBA guard right now. He is good enough defensively and at getting to the rim and finishing as well.
His biggest problem is his shooting ability. He has to improve his jumper and free throws to be a productive guard in the NBA. Most think that Briscoe will probably return for his sophomore season, but only time will tell for him and a few others.
Junior forward Marcus Lee is listed as the No. 74 draft-eligible player on DraftExpress.com's list of Top 100 prospects, though he's not part of their most recent mock. He doesn't make an appearance on nbadraft.net's latest mock either, but is listed as their 88th-best prospect.