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John Calipari reacts to Tyrese Maxey going pro

“I’m so happy for Tyrese and his family.”

Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

Another day, another UK player announcing his declaration for the NBA Draft.

After Ashton Hagans made the call Sunday, Tyrese Maxey announced he was off to the NBA on Monday.

“It’s time for my next challenge though. My dream has always been to play in the NBA and I know I’m prepared for this because I’m Wildcat made,” said Maxey. “Thank you to the Big Blue Nation, my coaches, teammates and everyone who has played a part in making this an incredible year. I will always bleed blue.”

Right after the announcement, head coach John Calipari released his own statement, expressing excitement for Maxey getting to live out his NBA dreams.

“Tyrese made that leap this season. He met every challenge and became one of the best guards in the country,” Calipari said in a press release. “Not only was it his dream to play at Kentucky, he wanted to be coached. He’s going to do great in that league because there’s nothing he can’t do. He can handle the ball, he can shoot, he’s got great athleticism and he really defended as the season went on. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of what Jamal Murray was able to do and we know how well he’s done in the NBA.

“I’m so happy for Tyrese and his family.”

While there’s been a lot of debate as to whether UK’s other NBA hopefuls should stay in school or leave, there should be no such talk with Maxey, who is widely projected as a lottery pick this year.

Highlighted by a career-high 27-point performance in the victory over No. 3 Louisville, Maxey averaged a team-high 19 points to go along with 5.3 rebounds in UK’s six games vs. AP Top 25 opponents this season, going 4-2 in those games.

In true road games, Maxey ranked second on the team with an average of 14.4 points, and the Wildcats went 8-2 in true road contests.

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