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Kentucky boasts 3 players in Sports Illustrated mock draft

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Three of 30 is pretty good.

Auburn v Kentucky Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Sports Illustrated’s NBA Draft analyst Jeremy Woo has released his first 2020 NBA Mock Draft. The SI draft guru has Georgia Bulldogs guard Anthony Edwards as the top overall pick and the high-profile LaMelo Ball at No. 2.

As for the Kentucky Wildcats, three come in at No. 8, No. 13 and No. 29. Those players, in respective order, are Tyrese Maxey, Kahlil Whitney, and Ashton Hagans.

Although he’s yet to step on the floor for a collegiate game yet, Woo was highly impressed with what he’s been hearing about five-star recruit Tyrese Maxey.

“Many around the industry believe Maxey will end up leading the Wildcats in scoring this season, with a polished floor game and the capacity to threaten defenses at all three levels. Many scouts I spoke with left Kentucky’s pro day most impressed with him, and if he plays to his potential, Maxey may be able elevate himself into this range of the draft.”

Whitney, the second of the three five stars to join coach Calipari, was also talked about as a potential lottery pick. The 6-foot-6 small forward is the second-best small forward in the Class of 2019 and should be a force for Kentucky.

Let’s just say Woo wasn’t short of praise on Whitney either.

“Whitney is already an NBA-caliber athlete, with a well-muscled body type somewhat reminiscent of Jaylen Brown at Cal, and a vaguely similar set of strengths, albeit without the same degree of polish.”

As for the last Wildcat first rounder, Ashton Hagans, after a year in Kentucky, scouts should know what they’re getting into. He’s a gritty, hard-nosed defender that needs to work on his perimeter scoring.

Hagans likely could’ve gone to the draft last season but opted to come back for another year of development before being thrown to the wolves.

That said, five-star forward, Keion Brooks, who could also be a starter for Calipari’s Wildcats, is the only notable player not included.