Hardy is ranked as the No. 3 overall player in the 2021 class and is the No. 1 overall combo guard.
While he has decided to jump straight to the pros, Kentucky was believed to be the favorite if he had decided to go to college.
The 2020 class saw top prospects Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga, as well as others, take the G-League route. Both are still projected to be top-10 picks, although their stock has fallen from where it was.
As of right now, Hardy is the only top 2021 guy that has decided to skip college, so it will be interesting to see if his draft stock falls similar to that of Green and Kuminga who didn’t get the same exposure as the players that went to college.
Regardless, this is a loss for the Cats, as they could be one superstar-type player away from being a title favorite in college basketball next season, and Hardy would have been that guy.
Now, the Cats will have to hope one of the transfers steps up and becomes that guy, or one of the freshmen, like TyTy Washington, turns out to be a star. Kentucky is also likely to land Georgia Bulldogs transfer Sahvir Wheeler in the coming days.