LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Fast breaking toward Week No. 2 of WDRB.com's College Basketball Notebook with items from around the region and the nation, and even some college hoops media scuttlebutt. Tell your friends about it . . .
Scout breaks down NBA Draft for WDRB.com
Kentucky put five players in the first round of the NBA Draft two years ago, and UK coach John Calipari has said the Wildcats could exceed that performance one day.
Will it happen on June 28 when the 2012 NBA Draft unfolds at the Prudential Center in Newark?
Unlikely, but possible.
Six UK players will be drafted, but most mock drafts have either four or five former Wildcats being selected in the first round. Doron Lamb and Darius Miller are the two wildcards.
WDRB.com talked to an NBA scout, who agreed to analyze the half-dozen Kentucky players.
Anthony Davis: "He's so good, the draft begins at two. It doesn't begin at one. He's a lock to be the first pick (by New Orleans). He's clearly the best player in the draft. It's very surprising that a player who can play defense as well as he can is as good as he is offensively.
"He's a good perimeter shooter. He has a good perimeter skill set. He can play inside or he can play outside. He'll get stronger. It's remarkable he's as young as he is.
"I'm not trying to compare him to Bill Russell. I think Russell obviously was older (when he left school at San Francisco for the NBA), but I see similarities in the body type. He'll get better and better every year and turn into a monster."
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: "He can go anywhere between two and six. He's a great athlete with outstanding physical tools to defend. Has a great background in basketball.
"He's very good around the basket offensively but he needs to improve his jump shot. He's shown at times that he can shoot the medium jumper but he has to prove he can knock that down consistently."
Terrence Jones: "He can go anywhere from 10 to 18. He's a combo forward. I feel he improved a great deal this year over last year. He's grown up and shown a better attitude as well as better aptitude.
"He can get to the basket off one or two dribbles. He has a golden future – as long as he brings it every night, to practice and to the games, all the things that he was taught at Kentucky."
Marquis Teague: "He'll go in the mid-to-late 20s. The way Teague played at the end of the season will move him into the first round. He has NBA speed, an NBA handle. I thought he improved as a point guard as the season went on. He paid attention and listened.
"He showed the ability to score in the NCAA Tournament. He's from an NBA family. It's in the genes. He was a freshman who led his team to the national championship playing the most important position on the floor. He needs to continue to work to become a knockdown deadly perimeter shooter. That will elevate him even more."
Doron Lamb: "I think Lamb is on the bubble. He could be at the end of the first round or early in the second round. He hit some big shots for Kentucky over the course of the season. He's a combo guard, more two than one. But he's capable of making entry passes, handling it and playing some one.
"I think he's a good off-the-bench player in the NBA. That will be his role. He's demonstrated he's not afraid of the bright lights."
Darius Miller: "He could go the end of the first, the beginning of the second, too. He's a wing player, what I call a two-three. He's been prepared for the role he's going to play in the NBA his whole career. He's an off-the-bench scorer.
"He can come in off the bench and give you a lift, give you energy. The bigger the game, the better he plays."
Kuric, Smith have 'outside chance' at draft
The Cards have not had a player selected in the NBA Draft since Terrence Williams and Earl Clark were both taken in the lottery in 2009. That streak will continue for another season.
Our NBA scout said that he did not expect either Kyle Kuric or Chris Smith to be taken on Thursday. This was his scouting report on Kuric:
"There might be an outside chance he could be drafted late in the second round, but I doubt it. He's a free agent. He's an overseas player.
"He's a good kid, he's a good shooter and I think he had a terrific year. He can shoot it. He's a guy if he wants to make the NBA, he's going to have to fight his way up out of the minors."
Pitino says Ware, Smith, leading the way in offseason workouts
The name that U of L coach Rick Pitino puts at the top of the list in terms of offseason improvement for his team is a name that was rarely called last season: sophomore Kevin Ware.
"He's really playing well," Pitino said last week in an interview with WKRD's Drew Deener. "He's playing the best right now of anyone. He's hitting mid-rage jump shots. He's athletically a scary basketball player. Our fans have not seen that from him. And next would be Russ Smith. He's gotten a lot stronger. When he came here he could't bench press 125 pounds. Now he's lifting 185. . . . He went from being our worst defensive player to a guy who is our toughest guy to go against offensively."
"I'm starting to get very excited about this basketball team. . . . It's the same attitude we had last season, but there's more ability."
After Buckles' departure, adding one more recruit possible
Pitino said that he could add a late recruit after Rakeem Buckles' departure for Florida International, but that he'll hang onto the scholarship for next season if the right player doesn't come along.
One player that won't be taking that vacated scholarship will be Stephan Van Treese, who left earlier this month.
"Stephan is going a completely different direction," Pitino told Deener. "I suggested he go to Bellarmine and get some playing time and get your game back, and then the next year come back to Louisville or somewhere else. But he's gone the completely opposite direction."
Dieng, Siva, Smith to represent men's hoops at caravan
Pitino is not listed as a speaker at this summer's Cardinal Caravan events, though he could be in attendance at some of them. But U of L hoops fans shouldn't feel short-changed.
Gorgui Dieng, Peyton Siva and Russ Smith have agreed to speak on behalf of men's basketball at the Caravan stops.
They may not be as outspoken as Pitino - or then again, they may be. Regardless, it should not be dull.
Louisville native Dugan takes over Bellarmine women
Chancellor Dugan knows a little something about winning at the NCAA Division II level. In 1997, her University of Southern Indiana team won 29 straight games on its way to the Division II national championship game, where it lost to North Dakota State.
Dugan, a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy, was Great Lakes Valley Coach of the Year a season later before moving on to Florida International, where she has spent the past 13 seasons, including an Atlantic Sun championship in 2006.
"It is a great honor and privilege to accept the head coaching position at Bellarmine," Dugan said. "I promise Knights Nation that you will get nothing but my very best, and my goal is to bring a national championship to Bellarmine."
AROUND THE NATION
Duke's Dawkins to redshirt this season
Duke, which will face UK this season and could face U of L in the Atlantis tourney in the Bahamas, will be without rising senior guard Andre Dawkins.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski made the announcement in a news conference last Thursday, and said he wasn't sure whether Dawkins would practice with the team. Dawkins father said in the spring that his son is still dealing from the grief over the death of his sister Lacey, who died in an accident on her way to Durham to see her brother play in 2009.
Krzyzewski said Dawkins would sit for personal reasons. "It's time for him to step away," Krzyzewski said. "It's the right thing. We're doing the right thing."
Who will replace Hubert Davis at ESPN?
Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Rece Davis, Dan Dakich, Fran Fraschilla, Jay Williams and the gang are the primary faces of college basketball during the winter, but ESPN needs to add one more prominent face, especially for the Saturday GameDay telecasts.
An opening was created when analyst Hubert Davis departed to return to North Carolina, his alma mater, to serve as one of Roy Williams' assistant coaches.
Who gets Davis' prime seat?
TheBigLead.com is reporting that Fab Five guard Jalen Rose of Michigan is the front-runner for the job. A member of the Fab Five, Rose worked in the studio as an NBA analyst. TBL says the deal is not official, but should be announced in the next month.
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