Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari has shown he can still thrive despite heavy roster turnover from year to year, but even he would struggle to replace his whole squad.
T.J. Beisner of CN2 made light of the school's tendency to be a revolving door to the NBA:
Of course, there's zero chance Calipari actually watches his whole roster up and leave Lexington. Some won't be invited to the draft combine, while others will want to stay in school to strengthen their draft stocks for next year or beyond.
Just so you know, having every kid put their name in the draft is about all players getting the right information. Players not invited to the combine know what that means. Players invited to the combine and told to go back to school know that that means. As I said, it's a win-win for the student athletes. I like the rule.
There's no reason for any draft-eligible player not to explore all of his possibilities. Starting this year, an underclassman can enter the draft and attend the combine while still maintaining his eligibility. In order to remain eligible, he'd only have to withdraw from the draft within 10 days of the combine, which is May 11-15.
Calipari is bound to lose a few stars—most likely freshman guard Jamal Murray, freshman forward Skal Labissiere and sophomore guard Tyler Ulis. Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman listed all three in his most recent NBA mock draft:
|2016 NBA Mock Draft—Kentucky Wildcats|
|Jamal Murray||Freshman||SG||No. 5||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Tyler Ulis||Sophomore||PG||No. 14||Chicago Bulls|
|Skal Labissiere||Freshman||PF/C||No. 21||Atlanta Hawks|
|Source: Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman|
Even if all three players head to the NBA, Kentucky won't be hurting for talent in 2016-17. Guard Isaiah Briscoe should take a step forward in his sophomore season if he puts off the NBA for another year. The Wildcats are also welcoming in the best recruiting class in the country, per 247Sports' composite ranking.
A quintet of 5-star recruits will join the team next season:
|Kentucky 2016 Recruiting Class|
|Player||Position||Position Rank||Overall Rank|
|De'Aaron Fox||PG||No. 1||No. 3|
|Malik Monk||CG||No. 1||No. 5|
|Edrice Adebayo||PF||No. 3||No. 11|
|Wenyen Gabriel||PF||No. 4||No. 13|
|Sacha Killeya-Jones||PF||No. 9||No. 26|
|Source: 247Sports' composite ranking|
Judging by the level of talent Kentucky will have on its roster, the Wildcats will likely be in a similar situation next year as their best players consider heading to the NBA.