NBA Draft 2012: Anthony Davis and Kentucky Stars Officially Declare for NBA

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  (L-R) Darius Miller #1, Anthony Davis #23, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14, Terrence Jones #3 and Marquis Teague #25 of the Kentucky Wildcats walk on the court in the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on April 2, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's official—the defending champion Kentucky Wildcats are losing their main starting five to the NBA

John Calipari must rebuild again as Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb have all declared for the 2012 NBA Draft, according to Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com.

Parrish tweeted on Tuesday: 

"The five Kentucky underclassmen have announced they are all entering the 2012 NBA Draft."

— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) April 17, 2012

 

The Wildcats were the best team this past season, and a case could certainly be made for them being one of the best college basketball teams ever. It truly is a shame fans won't get to see exactly how many titles this team would have won.

However, Big Blue Nation will always feel good as long as Calipari continues to recruit at a high level. 

All five are expected to be first-round draft picks, with Davis easily being the consensus No. 1 overall player. In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Kentucky players be selected No. 1 and No. 2 come draft day. 

Kidd-Gilchrist is widely considered the second-best prospect, but the outcome of the draft will certainly depend on which teams pick where. Nobody knows the order of the draft until the lottery selection, which will take place this summer. 

If the team picking at No. 2 needs a big man, Kidd-Gilchrist could be passed on. Still, he's going to be a lottery selection, and Jones could be the third Wildcat to be taken between picks No. 1 through No. 14. 

Teague and Lamb are borderline first-rounders, but given the guard class this year, I think both will be drafted in the first round. 

The NBA continues to be flooded with strong players from Kentucky, and that's a trend that will likely continue with Calipari bringing in star recruits. 

 

Follow E_ROCK12 on Twitter