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Jay Bilas and Bobby Marks weigh in on Jarred Vanderbilt and PJ Washington NBA Draft decision

ESPN experts weigh in on the two Cats as they contemplate their future.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky Media Day Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

PJ Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt went in different directions at the NBA Draft Combine, as Washington escalated his stock and Vanderbilt couldn’t attend due to health.

ESPN experts talked about the draft stock of each of them after the combine, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

For Vanderbilt, Jay Bilas talked about why it may have been best for him not participate if he wasn’t 100 percent.

“If he’s not prepared to show his best self, then maybe he’s making the right decision,” Bilas said, according to Jerry Tipton. “But you think if a guy is pegged as a second-round pick, you want to come and show what you got.”

Bilas also said that Vanderbilt might be best served to stay at Kentucky for another year.

“He’s got some very good tools to work with,” Bilas said. “He’s not a polished product yet. Maybe he’s better off going back to school and getting a full year in where he can really play and show what he’s capable of doing.”

As for Washington, the general opinion seems to be that he at least peaked the interest of scouts.

“Five-on-five helps more than what athletic testing is . . . ,” Bobby Marks said, according to Tipton. “You’ve got to be careful. If a guy comes out and goes for 28 in a game . . . I think you have to look at the whole body of work there.”

The two have yet to make their draft decision. Washington’s decision will come on Wednesday. Recent buzz would suggest that Washington’s combine performance was enough to make him lean towards staying in the NBA Draft, while Vanderbilt is more likely to return for a sophomore season.

Then again, some mock drafts have Vanderbilt being picked in the middle of Round 2 while Washington goes undrafted. If that’s an indicator of what NBA decision makers are thinking, then maybe UK loses Vanderbilt and gets Washington back.

Regardless, we’ll know by Wednesday who’s staying and leaving for the pros.

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