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Where the Wildcats stand in ESPN’s new NBA Draft rankings

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Several Wildcats are right on the edge of being drafted based on these rankings.

Hagans, Quickley Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

With just under a month left in the 2019-20 college hoops season, four Kentucky Wildcats are being mentioned among the top-60 potential draft picks for June’s NBA Draft.

The folks at ESPN have updated their NBA Draft rankings, and Tyrese Maxey is still holding strong as the top Wildcat picked at No. 8 overall.

After Maxey, there are no first-rounders left for Kentucky. Nick Richards is the next man up at No. 46 overall. Richards has played his way up tremendously after still being projected as a fringe draft pick despite his solid play. Now, it seems that he’s a surefire draft pick, but he needs a strong showing in March to ensure he hears his name called on Draft Day.

Ashton Hagans has gone from flirting with the first round to now being a middle-of-the-second-round pick as his play has taken a hit in these past few weeks. Hagans is projected to be the No. 49 overall pick. He certainly didn’t help himself with his recent bench argument with John Calipari, which helped lead to Hagans missing the Florida game and taking time away from the team.

Saying this, perhaps the time of will help Hagans recover physically and mentally, allowing him to get back to the high level he was at in the non-conference schedule and early on in SEC play. If he can get back to that, Hagans should go back to getting first-round buzz.

And now, after winning SEC Player of the Year, Immanuel Quickley still isn’t getting the NBA buzz he probably deserves. ESPN still has him ranked No. 60 overall, and with there only being 60 picks, there seems to be a good chance he’d go undrafted if he entered the draft.

But if Quickley keeps his play consistent in March, he could see himself climb up to the point he’s a near-lock to go somewhere in Round 2.

Be sure to check out the full rankings here.