James Young declares for the NBA

04/17/2014 02:06 PM

James Young will forgo his remaining eligibility at UK and enter the NBA draft. The 6-foot-6 freshman wing made his announcement Thursday.

Young entered the Wildcats program as a highly touted scorer and sharp shooter, and his numbers didn’t disappoint during his lone season in Lexington. The Rochester Hills, Mich. native averaged 14.3 points on 40% shooting from the field and 35% from behind the arc. Young also chipped in 4.3 rebounds per game.

Of his decision, Young said, ““My time at Kentucky has been special to me, something I’ll always treasure, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA. I’ve learned more this year, on and off the court, about life from Coach Cal and the staff and appreciate all of their guidance and support. I can’t say enough about my teammates; the journey helped us build a bond that we will always share for the rest of our lives. I would like to thank the best fans in the country, the Big Blue Nation, and I hope you guys will continue to support me as I move on. I will always bleed blue. Succeed and Proceed!”

UK coach John Calipari added, ““I’m excited for James and his family and the decision he’s come to. From day one, the NBA people who came to our practices in the preseasonraved about him. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him all season, investing himself in his brothers for the betterment of the team, and I think we all saw the end result in the tournament and Final Four. Whatever team drafts James is not only getting a superb athlete, they are getting the ultimate teammate.”

NBA draft experts project Young as a first round pick, but his range is wide-spread. Some see him sneaking into the late lottery, while others believe he’ll be a middle to late first-rounder.

Young’s departure leaves a void on the wing for the Cats. But with the Harrison twins possibly returning to school and the additions of Tyler Ullis and Devin Booker, the UK back court appears to be in good hands.

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