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4 of Kentucky’s five draft hopefuls crack updated top 100

Only two are projected as top-60 players, though.

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NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats, possessing several of the nation’s best prospects, were destined for a deep NCAA Tournament run before their season was cut short by the coronavirus.

While the season was lost, many of their players have the next steps of their careers to prepare for — most notably, Tyrese Maxey, Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, Ashton Hagans and EJ Montgomery, the five Wildcats that are testing their luck in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft.

When that draft is, since the NBA Lottery and Combine, two events that foreshadow the draft, have been postponed, is unknown. However, whenever it takes place, at least a few Wildcats are projected to be taken off the board in the two-round draft.

That said, Sam Vecenie of the Athletic (subscription required), recently put together his top-100 prospects. Four of those five Wildcats listed above were mentioned with EJ Montgomery, the sophomore power forward, missing the cut.

Vecenie ranks Maxey No. 13, Quickley No. 46, Richards No. 62 and Hagans No. 65. Of those five, it should be Hagans who is the most underrated. A solid floor general with borderline elite defensive instincts, he should be at least a second-round pick.

Last week, Vecenie, after his mock draft dropped, noted that Montgomery wasn’t even a top 120 prospect. However, Montgomery did officially sign with Wasserman Agency, so there’s no real chance he’ll be returning for a much-needed junior year.

Another huge question that’ll surround the Wildcats that are heading pro is whether or not Tyrese Maxey, who also appears to be slipping in big boards, is a lottery pick, meaning he is drafted within the first 14.

With an up-and-down season as a Wildcat, Maxey showed potential to be a superstar yet his inconsistency may force teams to shy away from drafting the undersized scoring machine.

For the other three, if they’re even drafted, it’ll be a good day as all could slip out of the second round. At the same time, all could go in the second round and Quickley may even find himself as a late first-round pick as well.