BOZICH | Eaves, Anderson, Bennett debate Labissiere's future at - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Eaves, Anderson, Bennett debate Labissiere's future at Kentucky

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Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere is a top 20 pick in three 2016 NBA Draft projections. Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere is a top 20 pick in three 2016 NBA Draft projections.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Talk about remarkable timing. On Tuesday afternoon, three former local basketball players with NBA experience (Jerry Eaves, Derek Anderson and Winston Bennett) debated the NBA potential of Skal Labissiere, Kentucky's freshman forward.

On Tuesday evening at Florida, Labissiere played as well as he has played this season, at least in a Southeastern Conference game.

He made half of his 10 field goal attempts. That is the most shots Labissiere has made since Nov. 27 against South Florida.

He grabbed eight rebounds. That is the most boards Labissiere has collected in a game this season.

Kentucky outscored Florida by 13 points when Labissiere was on the court. That was the highest plus/minus performance by any UK player in the Wildcats' 88-79 victory.

It was one of the rare moments this season when Labissiere demonstrated why DraftExpress.com continues to rank him the 19th best prospect in the 2016 NBA Draft, even though he is averaging 6.4 points and 3 rebounds.

Other scouts are just as gaga about Labissiere and his athletic, but narrow, 6-foot-11, 225 pound body. Labissiere is the 12th pick in the projection at CBSSports and 16th on Chad Ford’s board at ESPN.

Eaves, the former Louisville player and coach, invited me to his show Tuesday when he interviewed Anderson and Bennett, guys that played a Kentucky.

This was their discussion about Labissiere prior to his big night in Gainesville. My takeaway was that all three guys believe that Labissiere should return to Kentucky for another season.

WINSTON BENNETT: "The NBA is a potential league. They draft on potential. You don’t have to be there today.

"You look at Skal Labissiere. He ain't got no business going to the NBA. Are you kidding me? He should go to prep school. (Bennett was joking.) And they’re talking about drafting him?"

DEREK ANDERSON: "That’s the reason why you go back to school."

BENNETT: "He shouldn't go (to the NBA)."

JERRY EAVES: "I don’t think Skal's leaving. I really don't."

BENNETT: "But there's people in his ear. And for a lot of kids, that's the trailblazing path, whoever's talking to you. He's got so many people in his ear."

ANDERSON: "It's also the media, too. Everyone knows that Bam (Adebayo, a 6-foot-10 prep center from North Carolina signed by John Calipari last fall) is coming in, the big guy. So now it's like, 'He's going to be The Man. I'm not getting minutes. I'm out of here.'"

EAVES: "I watched Bam. He's very aggressive. But Bam's has a lot of skill issues. He's from North Carolina (where Eaves lived until 2014) and I've seen him quite a few times.

"He is not Karl Towns (the former UK all-American). Everyone thinks the guy who walks in (at UK) is going to be another Karl Towns. That's not going to happen. Willie Cauley-Stein had to develop. And I love Willie. I don't care what anybody says. Willie was a great player at Kentucky last year."

ANDERSON: "Because he stayed."

EAVES: "He stayed. He grew as a player. Everyone has to. And Bam's a great player, guys. But he does not have the low post presence. He doesn't average the points."

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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