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. 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. Kevin

    I would like to see these guys have a few finance classes added to their required studies. Obviously they have the talent and drive to make it on the court, but really, that's a short-lived career, and easily squandered. Just ask Rodman, Pippen, etc. I'd like to see them stay a bit longer at the college level since they're not as injury prone as the football players.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • cleareye1

      This kid is extremely talented but how can he possible front Bynum or Howard? He's not that quick.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike Fine

    Error in article: Only 4 were drafted in the first round. Ray Jackson never got drafted. Jackson played in the CBA for awhile.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. guppyman

    If they go to college, they should stay in college a minimum of 2 years. Else if they stay for 1 year, no benefits..i.e. no scholarships. Let the ones who plan on getting an education get the scholarships. That seems fair to me.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ron

    Another error in the article. The score was not 69 to 57. It was 67 to 59.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ABP

    It would be wise if they stay and finish their college also and they will have more knowledge and become more us how many of these players who entered NBA are sucessful..very little number..even Rivers will disappear and so will the Carolina players..they need to stay full 4 years in college to become more mature at the game

    April 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Get Lost

    What Anthony Davis really means is it depends on how much Calapari can pay him to stay another year.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ABP

    They should all be bounded by colleges to finish four years of school. They are getting free education (scholarships) so they owe to these colleges to stay for full 4 years

    April 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dray

      But they only get a free education for the time they are there. If they leave, the scholarship leaves too. Seems fair to me.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. Pedro B.

    Davis does not have any reason to stay at Kentucky. He accomplished the top accolades. He was the Naismith player of the year, his team won the championship and he was the MVP of the tournament. There is nothing else for him to accomplish at Kentucky. He will more than likely be the #1 overall pick in the draft. I am a strong advocate of a college education. I have multiple degrees. However, if you have a chance to make millions you better go ahead and get the money. You can always go back to school

    April 3, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. everett

    Leave! Take the big bucks!

    April 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    That is an awesome unibrow. One of the best.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hartwig

    The number 1 player in the draft will definitely leave, there is no upside to staying another year. It would be great if they redesigned the system to allow those players who actually care about the degree to get the scholarsips. I would propose a system more like baseball has. If you go want to test your luck in the draft before going to college you can, if you choose to go to college you must go atleast 3 years before you can choose to enter the draft. It allows these 1 and doners to not go to college while still promoting the key to all this the education.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    And yet another error: Darius Miller is not leaving early. This was his senior season. I would like to see the NCAA / NBA adopt the smae rule that is enforced in MLB / college baseball. You can turn pro right out of high school, but if you decide to go to college, you have to stay three years before you can enter the draft.

    April 3, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TvNyC

    Basketball is great, lets concentrate on real issues though, like the fact that the world is about to end.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. Thomas

    Let him do what he wants to.

    April 4, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. T

    Stay in school, get that degree, kid.
    Basketball, like all sports is a finite career and is very short. Ten to Fifteen years will go by fast like a flash and then you're out. You need to use that noggin for your 2nd career whatever it may be and it's a good idea to take a few finance classes now to wisely handle the money so you don't end up a broke, old man cleaning toilets just to get by.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
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