It’s no secret that many of the athletes who come to Kentucky to play basketball are seeking the fastest route possible to the NBA.
The annual exodus of superstar freshman to the NBA draft to become first round draft picks has become as much of a tradition in Lexington as Big Blue Madness or cheerleaders spelling “Kentucky” at center court.
John Calipari and his Wildcats will no doubt continue with that tradition once again in 2017 with the Wildcats loaded with potential lottery pick talent all over the court.
In a conversation with ESPN college basketball analysts Dick Vitale and Seth Greenberg, Chris McKee from A Sea of Blue discussed the pro potential of Kentucky’s three star freshmen Malik Monk, Edrice “Bam” Adebayo and De’Aaron Fox.
Greenberg and Dicky V provided their thoughts on the three Wildcats talented “Diaper Dandies.”
Malik Monk 6’3 Guard Lepanto, AR.
Vitale: I love Monk. I think the 47-point game (vs. North Carolina) to me was without a doubt in my 38 years at ESPN, the best performance ever, ever for me, by a freshman in a major game. Scoring 47 points when your team needed every one to win, away on a neutral court on national television and to make every big shot was so special. He’s got to be a little more consistent, but he’s explosive.
Greenberg: Monk is kind of a poor man’s Russell Westbrook. They’re all going to be really good pro’s. It’s hard to say which is going to be the best.
De’Aaron Fox 6’3 Guard Houston, TX.
Vitale: He’s just got to work on his range as a shooter and become more consistent. In transition he’s dynamite. I think he’s got an incredible potential in terms of his defensive ability with the long arms, the size he brings to the point guard. So I really like him. I think both kids (Monk and Fox) are going to be multi, multimillionaires, baby, big time!
Greenberg: Fox is a guy that’s just so explosive in the open floor; I want to say like John Wall or whoever. But Fox, in terms of transferable skill, speed, position, impact, you saw him at the end of the game last night (vs. Miss State). He’s so good off that high flat ball screen, which obviously you live within the NBA. His ability to drive, he’s got a lot of different lay-ups, which is another thing that I think you need to be good at when you play in more open floor.
Edrice “Bam” Adebayo 6’10 Forward Little Washington, NC.
Vitale: Adebayo inside is absolutely strong, physical, tough. I don’t think we’ve seen really anywhere near how good he’s going to be. To me, and I’ve talked to John Calipari about it, I don’t believe he gets enough touches around the basket. I think he’s got to get the ball more inside. He’s got good top step moves.
Greenberg: Bam has a specialty, in the NBA game he’s going to be able to rebound the ball. His physicality will not be a detriment like it is at times in college. I think Bam could end up being a Charles Oakley type player. They’re all going to be very good NBA players.
In discussing all three players, Vitale said:
“I’ll tell you the one thing all three have. These are three quality young guys who want to get better who are coachable. There are a lot of guys maybe that have star potential ability, but they aren’t willing to listen. They aren’t coachable. These three kids respond. They’re not worried about stats. They’re not worried about all the hype, you saw last night (vs. Miss State), Calipari takes him out of the game because he took a bad shot, and there was no pouting and sulking. Goes back in, does the job. And to me, that’s a quality. When you put that quality with ability and talent and skills and areas you can’t teach, the quickness, jumping ability, you’ve got something special.”
In closing Vitale said, “I’d like to be their agent, man. I’d love to be their agent!”