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Kentucky Basketball: Jarred Vanderbilt staying in 2018 NBA Draft

Vanderbilt has a world of potential if he can stay healthy.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Jarred Vanderbilt will keep his name in the 2018 NBA Draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

Vanderbilt had a shortened freshman year for the Kentucky Wildcats last year, but he was effective in the 14 games he played, scoring 6 points per game while leading the team in rebounds with nearly 8 per game, despite only averaging 17 minutes per game.

Per 40 minutes, that comes out to 18.5 rebounds per game, making him arguably the best rebounder in college basketball.

Vanderbilt will have to spend the summer rehabbing an ankle/foot injury that kept him out of the last few regular season games, as well as tournament games last season. He reportedly had surgery at some point after the season, which led to him skipping the NBA Draft Combine. He’s also been unable to work out for teams while recovering.

Vanderbilt was a borderline second-round pick in this year’s NBA Draft, but the general idea among league personnel and draft analysts is that with a healthy, productive sophomore season, Vanderbilt could easily play himself securely into the first round.

Even so, Vanderbilt and his family seem to have felt it was best he begin his pro career now.

For Kentucky, Vanderbilt’s departure means less experience in next year’s frontcourt, which currently includes sophomore Nick Richards and freshman E.J. Montgomery.

Best of luck to Vanderbilt in his future endeavors.

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