John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats are known as the "one-and-done" team because the squad's stellar young players are expected to go immediately from winning the NCAA National Championship into the NBA after one season.
But after Monday night's 69-57 win over Kansas, might Kentucky be a team that's one title down but not yet done? Is it possible that some players may surprise everyone and stick around for another season?
At a news conference after taking the national championship, the Wildcats were peppered with reporters' questions about the team's youth and whether their star athletes would say if they're ready to head to the big leagues. The team of big men and sharp shooters often has been compared to Michigan's famed Fab Five of the early '90s, who were all drafted in the first round of the NBA.
Anthony Davis has led Kentucky throughout the year. But Monday night, when he realized his shots weren't falling, he dominated on defense, racking up 16 rebounds, six blocked shots, five assists and three steals.
As the Naismith Player of the Year, Davis faced the most media inquiries about where he might be hitting the hardwood next year. One of the first questions was whether he was ready to come out for the NBA draft.
āNo, I havenāt decided,ā Davis said Monday night. āCoach (Calipari) says we have till April 29 to decide. Iām just going to wait till then, sit down with my coach, sit down with my family, see what the best decision is for me."
Davis is known as much for his tough play and dominating performances as his unibrow, which has become a rallying cry and point of pride for Kentucky fans.
It would be a big loss for Kentucky but a great gain for an NBA team, many analysts say, if Davis made the jump to the big leagues.
Calipari's style of recruiting high-caliber players with the goal of having them go off quickly to the NBA has received mixed reviews from college basketball fans. Calipari noted that he made history when five of his players were drafted in the first round two years ago. He said he knew after that draft that Kentucky would be a place where basketball players with big talent and dreams would go.
That's not to say Calipari didn't wish he'd have those players back next year. He joked about the NBA rule that a player must have one year of college ball before entering the draft.
"I don't think it's a good rule," Calipari said. "I hope we change it before this week's out so these guys have to come back. But it is a rule; it's not my rule - it's a rule we have to deal with."
The coach said he knows his young players, especially those only 18 or 19, have big talent.Ā And he said he had high hopes for this year's team.
"Let's have six, I'm fine with that," Calipari quipped about his expectations for Kentucky players taken in the first round of the NBA draft.
Davis wouldn't commit that he was ready for the NBA just yet. The press even tried to get a more definitive answer by asking him how he would describe Monday's game if it were his last as a college player.
It was like a ball fake Davis had seen before, and he handled the question the way he does defense: solidly.
āItās a great way (to end the season), but like I said before - Iām going to wait until April 29 and decide what Iām going to do then," Davis said with a deadpan face.
Until a decision later this month, Calipari seems to be operating under the assumption that he will lose several guys and need to rebuild again. It is expected Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller and Marquis Teague will be drafted early.
If Calipari has his wish come true, they'll all be the first picks of several NBA teams in the first round.
And perhaps that's why Calipari knows he has a lot of work to do to prepare for next year.
"That's why I have to go recruiting on Friday," the coach said.