Kentucky Wildcats in the NBA 2012-2013 Preview

Nick Nafpliotis@@NickNafster79Correspondent IOctober 29, 2012

Kentucky Wildcats in the NBA 2012-2013 Preview

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    If you are a University of Kentucky basketball fan, then there will be plenty of opportunities to cheer on your favorite Wildcats...even with UK doesn't have a game scheduled.

    Head coach John Calipari has recruited and produced an extraordinary amount NBA level talent in the last few years. Combine that with the UK greats that are already in the pros, and you have a cornucopia of teams that feature one or more beloved members of the Big Blue Nation.

    The following preview University of Kentucky alumni that will be playing in the NBA during the 2012-2013 season. This will end up being a recurring segment here on Bleacher Report, so make sure to check back here often to see how your favorite Kentucky player is now fairing in the pros.

    All stats obtained via ESPN 

Rajon Rondo: Boston Celtics

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    Seventh Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    11.9 PPG, 11.7 APG, 4.8 RPG

    2011-2012 Post Season Statistics

    17.3 PPG, 11.9 APG, 6.7 RPG

    While Rajon Rondo can always be counted on to dish out assists and play great defense, it will be interesting to see if he will be called upon to score a bit more for the Boston Celtics this season.

    With Ray Allen gone and Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce on the verge of being eligible for an AARP card, Rondo will probably be forced out of his comfort zone and into the role of go-to scorer a bit more than he would like. 

    But while his jump shot isn't anything to write home about, Rondo's ability to slash through the lane and create his own shots often gets left out of the discussion when people talk about what a great player he is. This will probably be the year that it gets put on full display. 

Anthony Davis: New Orleans Hornets

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    Rookie Season

    Anthony Davis was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA, and with good reason. In addition to his incredibly wingspan and freakishly good mobility for his size, Davis also has defensive instincts and awareness that could very well turn him into one of the best shot blockers in NBA history.

    That's not hyperbole, by the way; it's a pretty fair assessment (and if you have watched him play at all this preseason, you'll agree). 

John Wall: Washington Wizards

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    Third Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    16.3 PPG, 8.0 APG, 4.5 RPG

    A knee injury will have John Wall on the bench until near the end of November of the beginning of December (per

    When they wait for his return, the Wizards will also be hoping that third overall pick Bradley Beal begins to develop into a good enough scoring threat to take some of the heat off Wall while he runs the point.

    If that happens, you will probably see a lot of the frustration that Wall seemed to be feeling last year was away...and he'll finally get a chance to really show what he can do at the point guard position.

Demarcus Cousins: Sacramento Kings

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    Third Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    18.1 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 1.2 BLKPG

    Since Keith Smart took over the head coaching duties from Paul Westphal last season, the stories about Cousins' allegedly "bad attitude" and "uncontrollable temper" have seemingly disappeared. 

    Instead, Sacramento fans are excited about a player who is turning into one of the NBAs premiere post players.

    If Cousins can improve his shooting from a few feet out (and manage to do a better job keeping himself out of foul trouble), then the Kings may very well see their first winning season in seven years.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Charlotte Bobcats

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    Rookie Season

    If there's one place that will give a true test to Kidd-Gilchrist's incredible attitude and positivity, it's Charlotte. While he has struggled quite a bit this preseason, the upside to playing for the Bobcats is that he should get plenty of playing time when the regular season bigs.

    Kidd-Gilchrist will hopefully be able to use that time to develop a better jump shot and perimeter game, which is what he will need to become an elite small forward in the NBA. 

Brandon Knight: Detroit Pistons

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    Second Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    12.8 PPG, 3.8 APG, 3.2 RPG

    Word around the Detroit Pistons camp is that Brandon Knight worked like a man possessed during the off season to improve his game (per Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press).

    While his preseason play has been a bit inconsistent, his outside shooting and strength/conditioning definitely look better. If Detroit is going to return to being a relevant NBA franchise in the near future, much of their fortunes depend on the growth and maturity of their young point guard—which is a bet just about anyone should be willing take.

Eric Bledsoe: Los Angeles Clippers

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    Third Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    3.3 PPG, 1.7 APG, 1.6 RPG

    2011-2012 Post Season Statistics

    7.9 PPG, 2.1 APG, 2.4 RPG

    After Eric Bledsoe returned last season from an injury and had an excellent post season with the Clippers, it looked like he was going to play a much bigger role in their future plans.

    Unfortunately for him, the addition of Jamal Crawford probably means that he will see fewer minutes off the bench than most were anticipating.

    Despite that, however, Bledsoe has still managed to have an excellent preseason. He might overshadowed by Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups, but look for Bledsoe to be utilized quite a bit by the Clippers when they need energy and instant offense off the the bench.

Patrick Patterson: Houston Rockets

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    Third Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    7.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG

    Patrick Patterson saw a steady increase in his minutes (and subsequent production) off the bench last season for the Rockets. The power forward position for the Rockets may be a bit crowded at the moment, but Patterson is arguably their best option.

Jodie Meeks: Los Angeles Lakers

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    Fourth Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    8.4 PPG, 2.4 RPG

    2011-2012 Post Season Statistics

    2.7 PPG

    After losing his starting job (and most of his minutes) last year in Philadelphia, Jodie Meeks now finds himself backing up Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.

    Unfortunately, that probably doesn't mean he will see a great deal of playing time unless Bryant is injured. 

Marquis Teague: Chicago Bulls

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    Rookie Season

    When the Chicago Bulls brought back the again Kirk Hinrich to run the point while Derrick Rose continues to rehab from his injury, it looked like Teague's minutes as a rookie would be severely limited.

    A groin injury to Heinrich during the preseason, however means that Teague may get shoved into the spotlight very soon—and whether he's ready for it or not.

Darius Miller: New Orleans Hornets

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    Rookie Season

    Darius Miller will be joining fellow Wildcat Anthony Davis in New Orleans, where both hope to turn the Hornets into a contender.

    Miller often gets overlooked when people talk about the latest group of Wildcats that have entered the NBA, but he that shouldn't happen. Miller is a solid player with a far better offensive skill set than he gets credit for.

    Look for both Wildcats to make a big impact in the Big Easy this season. 

Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets

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    Rookie Season

    Terrence Jones has had an excellent preseason with the Houston Rockets, meaning that he will probably be competing with fellow Wildcat Patrick Patterson for playing time at the power forward position.

Chuck Hayes: Sacramento Kings

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    Eight Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    3.2 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 4.3 BLKPG

    The move to Sacramento to Houston looks like it was a good one for Chuck Hayes. While the Houston front court has too many players competing for playing time, the Kings are a bit thin at power forward and center.

    The additional playing time for Hayes (and the presence of Demarcus Cousins) probably means that more than a few UK fans will be tuning in to Sacramento games to watch the action underneath the basket. 

Enes Kanter: Utah Jazz

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    Second Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    4.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG

    2011-2012 Post Season Statistics

    4.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG

    Much like the Houston Rockets, the Utah Jazz are loaded with talent in the front court.

    But Enes Kanter has used this preseason to show why he deserve a larger slice of playing time, posting four double doubles and demonstrating some excellent post up defense.

Tayshaun Prince: Detroit Pistons

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    11th Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    12.7 PPG, 2.4 APG, 4.5 RPG

    Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Knight have both vowed that the Detroit Pistons will make the playoffs this season. 

    While that statement will inspire a healthy dose of skepticism from most, an improved and more mature Knight dishing the ball to Prince should at least giver Pistons fans a lot more to cheer about.

Doron Lamb: Milwaukee Bucks

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    Rookie Season

    Doron Lamb has had a decent enough preseason to warrant some early playing time for the Milwaukee Bucks.

    If he goes on one of his hot streaks like he often did for the Wildcats, expect him to potentially work his way into the starting lineup.

Nazr Mohammed: Chicago Bulls

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    15th Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    2.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG

    2011-2012 Post Season Statistics

    2.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG

    After being phased out of the rotation in Oklahoma City, a solid preseason with the Chicago Bulls should mean a return to getting some regular minutes for Nazr Mohammed

DeAndre Liggins: Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Second Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    1.9 PPG

    Liggins snagged the final roster spot on the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he is unlikely to see much playing time this year.

Keith Bogans: Brooklyn Nets

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    Ninth Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    4.2 PPG, 0.6 APG, 2.2 RPG

    After missing nearly all of last season due to injury, Keith Bogans is back to 100% and should see a decent amount of playing time off the bench for the Brooklyn Nets.

Josh Harrellson: Miami Heat

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    Second Season

    2011-2012 Regular Season Statistics

    4.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG

    2011-2012 Post Season Statistics

    2.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG

    After becoming a fan favorite in New York (and battling injuries) Jorts has taken his talents to South Beach, where he will play for the NBA Champion Miami Heat. 

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