After the heartbreak of last night’s loss, we’re now left with the aftermath of this season. And as is the case with every Kentucky team in this decade, there will be a lot of departures. But this year could be a bit more drastic than usual.
There are of course the three seniors, Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis and Mychal Mulder, who all played much bigger roles than expected this year.
And then there’s the uncertain but likely departures: Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo. The latest mock draft from SB Nation has Fox going fifth, Monk going sixth and Adebayo going 30th.
There’s no certainty that Isaiah Briscoe will even get drafted, but it’s likely he’ll join those three and leave for the NBA Draft as well.
All four of them deny having made a decision one way or the other yet. Monk hopes to make a decision this week once he meets with his family.
“Probably (decide) later on in the week. I haven’t talked to my mom, my brother or Coach yet,” Monk told SEC Country. “So I’ll just focus on this loss, get over this loss, then probably talk later on in the week.”
Bam pretty much echoed those sentiments, saying he wants to make a decision with his family on what his future holds.
“I’m just talking to my family,” said Bam. “I’m going to be with my teammates for the rest of the day and probably next couple days. We’re just going to stick together, and after that, I’ll make some decisions.”
Briscoe was adamant he was nowhere close to making a decision after the way Sunday’s game ended.
“I’m not thinking about that. I don’t know, I’m not thinking about nothing,” said Briscoe. “We just lost. I’m not thinking about that.”
Hamidou Diallo is eligible to join them as well, but it appears that he’s definitely coming back for next season.
“I haven’t really spoken (to family or coaches) about next year, but as of right now, I’m 100 percent returning,” Diallo said. “This isn’t a great feeling, but these guys had a heckuva run. This has been a great experience for me, just learning from these guys. Just have to bring it into next year.”
And what makes this year potentially worse than most other years is that there’s a couple guys who could transfer in Isaac Humphries and Sacha Killeya-Jones. Humphries had by far the best game of his career last night on the national stage, and he’d had a bit of a frustrating season prior to that. He could have options now.
“I have nothing yet. Now that we’re kind of done I’m just going to assess every option that I have. I have nothing yet,” Humphries said after sunday’s loss.
Killeya-Jones was a five-star freshman and a McDonald’s All-American this year, and didn’t log a single minute in the last 20 games of the season. It’d be hard to blame him if he went elsewhere next year.
Obviously John Calipari has already done his work to replace those who leave. The Cats have yet another No. 1 recruiting class coming in next year to build on the base of Diallo.
But replacing the fastest player in the country, one of the most clutch shooters in Kentucky history, a center that’s built like Dwight Howard, and the best defensive player on this year’s team is much easier said than done.