The Kentucky Wildcats have a ton of players that will make NBA scouts turn their heads.
Justin Edwards and DJ Wagner were expected to be top-10 picks in the upcoming NBA Draft before the season. Players like Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard have also leapfrogged their way into the discussion.
However, this Kentucky team is also littered with experienced players, and Adou Thiero is one of them. John Calipari knows what Thiero is capable of, and he thinks the guard is capable of being a top-ten pick if he can develop a consistent jump shot.
During his Monday call-in show, Calipari laid out what Thiero needs to do to reach the next level.
“If I told you he could be a top-10 pick...just get your shot better. Get that thing down. I told him, I’d have a bed in the practice facility. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. I’d go to class, go back, sleep in that bed, get up, go to that gym, and shoot,” Calipari said of Thiero.
“Part of it is getting a shooting expert to work with you. It’s the only thing between him and (being a top-10 pick). I just think he’s so talented. He’s got a quick twitch. Getting in better shape. Might have to drop five pounds or so. But I told his dad, he hasn’t even touched how good he can be.”
Thiero is in his second season with Calipari’s Cats. His minutes per game is up to 24 from 9.5 as a freshman. His shooting, especially in two-point range, has been huge, increasing from 34.5% last season to 53.2%.
Thiero does everything, and his offensive rebounding (averaging 1.7 per game) has been crucial for Kentucky. The 6-foot-5 combo guard is averaging 7.7 points per game. He’s also coming off a four-block performance in Kentucky’s four-point win over North Carolina.
Not many athletes, especially at the college level, have the skill set that Thiero does. His presence and instincts around the rim are hard to teach. Ultimately, Cal is right. He needs a jumper to be successful at the NBA level, but that can be taught.
The sky is the limit for Thiero, and being a first-round pick is certainly on the table. Let’s hope he reaches that potential, as it would help him earn life-changing money while also elevating Kentucky into being a stronger contender.