Kentucky's Anthony Davis says he hasn't decided on NBA yet
Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis clutches the NCAA trophy after the Wildcats won the national championship Monday night.
April 3rd, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Kentucky's Anthony Davis says he hasn't decided on NBA yet

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.

“No, I haven’t decided,” Davis said Monday night. “Coach (Calipari) says we have till April 29 to decide. I’m 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.

SportsPickle.com: Ten best Davis unibrow tributes

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.  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.

“It’s a great way (to end the season), but like I said before - I’m going to wait until April 29 and decide what I’m 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.

soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Honestuck

    They should all go for the NBA draft. For every year they remain in college each of them stand to lose an average of 30 million Dollars. They don't need a college degree.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hiruu

    Kid...pack your bags and head to the NBA...nobody every comments on European players going Pro early! Go to team, be open to learn, and get experience by playing against the best in the world. This is what ALL professionals should aspire to achieve...oh, and the millions of dollars won't hurt either.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Michelle Brown

    If any of them stays they will probably be taken care of under the table.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. HOMESLICE OF BREAD

    NBA WILDCATS!

    April 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brian

    I would prefer that these young players stick it out in their respected universites, but the temptation of the paycheck is very daunting. The NBA can wait...get your degrees and help your school win more (this from a UK fan!)

    April 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      Its the risk of injury, otherwise i'd agree with them staying and getting an education.

      April 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      So its about you and your enjoyment?? Really how selfish are you. Did any of these player get a profit of Kentucky's TV deal.. please. College sports is a business period. These kids have a short window make their money. If you had a few million on the table for you .. YOU would take it!

      April 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike P.

    Not all members of the Fab Five were even drafted, let alone drafted in the first round. Webber in 93, Howard and Rose in 94 (all first round). Jimmy King second round in 95, and Jackson was never drafted.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. liam

    I've got to say that Kentucky team is one of the more balanced college teams I've ever seen. It seems that every one of their starters would be the go to guy on any other squad. The tourney wasn't all that great this year, but the Final Four was great and the final an instant classic. As far as Davis is concerned, I'm all for education, but he needs to just declare and go get paid.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Charles Lee

    The so-called prime time players who jump to the NBA is hurting both the college and professional game. I firmly believe some seasoning at the college level is very beneficial to the game of basketball. Collegiate players should stay at least three years to hone their skills. The NBA should not be the proving ground to round out your game. The NBA has become so mundane and boring, it is hard too watch.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Fran

    Honestly, if they would cut the pay for NBA players these kids wouldn't be in such a hurry to go. Everybody knows that these players are paid way too much anyway. But if that happened, these kids would be more interested in getting their education.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JoeDownTheStreet

    Would love to see a "one & done" athlete choose education first! Shouldn't college basketball be about student athletes? Which infers that they are students first and athletes second and only if they qualify academically? Shame on Kentucky for embracing a coach that admittedly recruits "one and done" athletes with the sole purpose of preparing them for the NBA. Shouldn't that be left up to the NBA D-League? Shouldn't colleges be in the business of education first? Sorry, can't get too excited about the Kentucky program and their priorities.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • shura53

      until the NBA changes their rules...ncaa has no choice. would we love for these kids to stay and get an education..yes...but..if it was my kid and he's about to make $40 million...i say GOOOOOOOOOO...you can always come back and get your education...as far as the coach there...any coach in college basketball would take these kids at their universities. it's not just ky and coach cal.....i would rather they be playing for me than against me...

      April 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Myron Pitts

    "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."

    That kind of stepping up defines a winner. I'm a Carolina man, and I've seen my share, and personally I hope Davis does NOT stay another year. As for going pro, personally, I believe when you're ready, you should go. The risk of injury is too great.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chico amd the man

    Ok get and education or not to get an education. Why don't we a story on all the college players who went to the NBA and either got hurt, injured, or just never were any good! no we can't possibly do a story on those because then the money machine that is the NCAA would stop working!!

    April 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Myron Pitts

    Charles Lee wrote: "Collegiate players should stay at least three years to hone their skills."

    This is called a farm system. In baseball, they pay players for that. Colleges and the NBA don't - meanwhile the risk of career-ending injury remains.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Myron Pitts

    Fran wrote: " Everybody knows that these players are paid way too much anyway."

    I've never understood this reasoning, not from an American anyway. It's market-based capitalism. The NBA generates multiple billions. Only a handful of players have the skills involved to play at that level. Why shouldn't they get paid millions?

    April 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Uni-brow police.

    I hope he shaves that unibrow

    April 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
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