Towns, Cauley-Stein among seven Kentucky players to enter NBA draft

Seven Kentucky players have declared for the upcoming NBA draft.
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Seven Kentucky players will enter the upcoming NBA draft.

In a press conference Thursday, coach John Calipari announced that Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Devin Booker and Dakari Johnson have played their final seasons with the Wildcats.

"We had a meeting to begin our year, and the meeting was based on them," Calipari said. "My comment was, 'My goal is to have eight of you be drafted if you choose to put your name in the draft.' They knew they would have to be the most selfless, sharing, sacrificing group of young people ever in this game for that to happen, and they were."

​Calipari noted that the injured Alex Poythress would have made the number eight. Towns is projected by many as the No. 1 overall pick, with Cauley-Stein projected for the lottery and Lyles and Booker also considered potential first-round selections.

"During this year it was about team. They shared, they sacrificed, it was about team," Calipari added. "Now it's about each individual making a decision not based on what's right for the university, not me and our staff, but what's right for them and their families. I'm not convincing anyone to stay and I'm not pushing anyone out the door. This is their choice."

Kentucky returns Poythress, Tyler Ulis, Marcus Lee and Dominique Hawkins next season, and welcomes in touted recruits Skal Labissiere, Isaiah Briscoe and Charles Matthews.

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Jeremy Woo