The Kentucky Wildcats are primed to have an all-time great recruiting class come to Lexington this upcoming fall, but before that, they’ll get to see where a few of the studs on this past season’s team end up.
Both Cason Wallace and Jacob Toppin, at the very least, will be heading to the NBA Draft. Oscar Tshiebwe is likely to join them, and Chris Livingston could make the jump as well.
Toppin didn’t perform well for much of the season, but his late-season showing did add some promise to his potential at the highest level in basketball.
As for Wallace, the five-star recruit is consistently mocked in the lottery for the upcoming draft. Wallace, a 6-foot-4 guard, averaged 11.7 points per game and shot 44.6% from the field as a freshman.
Let’s dive into where some drafts have Wallace playing his professional ball.
The Ringer — No. 13 to the New York Knicks
Tom Thibodeau wouldn’t be able to contain his smile if Wallace fell to him here. Wallace is an ideal fit next to Jalen Brunson thanks to his defensive ability, spot-up shooting, and feel for secondary creation.
NBC Sports — No. 11 to the Orlando Magic
There is a lot to like about Wallace’s game. He’s an excellent defender at the point of attack, he shoots it well from three and he’s got a good feel for passing in terms of his timing and creativity. He also plays with a level of energy and emotion that suggests he’s a competitive player who loves the game. Whether he has the upside to become a star or not, Wallace looks like the type who will make winning plays at the next level. - CH
USA Today — No. 8 to the Washington Wizards
Kentucky had an underwhelming campaign, but it wasn’t because of Cason Wallace. The SEC All-Freshman guard was perhaps the most promising of the backcourt prospects in college basketball last season, shooting 15-for-31 (48.4 percent) on corner 3-pointers, via CBB Analytics.
Wallace averaged 0.77 passes per touch, per AI-Powered statistics provided by Stats Perform. That was the highest among all projected first-round draft picks.
He maintained a high steal rate throughout the season, too, showing his prowess as a defensive playmaker. He projects well as a solid contributor at the next level.