The Kentucky Wildcat basketball program has been more of a NBA crash course than anything else since the arrival of John Calipari, and it will continue in 2011 as well. Junior guard DeAndre Liggins and Freshman guard Brandon Knight have decided to make the jump to the NBA, throwing their proverbial hats into the ring for the 2011 NBA draft.
The 6’6" Liggins was a defensive powerhouse at Kentucky, and made the decision to enter the draft for multiple reasons. The Wildcats are going to be a stacked team next season, and finding playing time will be hard for him, not to mention next year’s draft will probably be a lot deeper, so Liggins figured that this was the perfect time to make the move. From catspause.com
It’s going to be a deeper draft next year,” Liggins said. “Where do I fit in? Would I start? Would I come off the bench? Would I be treated differently? I was thinking if I was going to go, this was the perfect time to go."
Liggins also has a family to think about with the birth of his baby during the 2010-2011 season, so I’m sure some financial stability is something he is looking for. He is a humble guy who knows himself and his game very well.
“I had to really think about my family and my son. I just followed my heart, really…I know I’m not going to be a superstar or anything. I’m a role player. I was a role player (at Kentucky) and I know my role. I know my weaknesses and I know what I can do well."
As for Knight, the KU freshman is NBA ready after only one year, taking over John Wall’s freshman scoring record, field goals made record, and 3 point field goals record along the way. He was one of only 3 guys ever to be the Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior in high school, joining LeBron James and Greg Oden in that category. He will be missed by the KU faithful, but his time is now to go to the next level. He is a great student, a consumate professional on the court, and will be a nice addition to whatever NBA team picks him up.
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