LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — I don’t have a date for the 2019 NBA Draft. I also don’t have the list of 4,117,181 underclassmen who will make themselves eligible to be selected in June 2019.

What I do have is this: The Sports Illustrated projections for the first round in 2019. Click here. 


Considering that is a class that figures to include the usual four-to-eight guys from Kentucky, the entire starting lineup and three student managers from Duke, assorted Serbs and Croatians and Indiana signee Romeo Langford, the 2019 NBA Draft qualifies as a Saturday discussion topic.

Let’s not delay reviewing what Jeremy Woo projected:

*Romeo Langford at Pick 6: Langford holds the same spot with Woo that he holds with the recruiting gurus.

With one difference. The recruiting guys place Langford behind five prep players. Woo has Langford behind four of those guys as well as Sekou Doumboya, who is 6 feet 8, 17 years old, plays for Poitiers Basket and will prepare for the draft in France.

I wish I could provide a scouting report on Doumboye. I can't. Never heard of him until I saw Woo's work. 

Woo loves Langford’s ability as a scorer and playmaker as well as his stature as a full-sized (6-6) shooting guard. He’d like to see him improve his athleticism and three-point shooting.

Woo whiffed in one observation about Langford. He opened his scouting report by saying that Woo “appeased his entire home state,” with his college commitment.

Try selling that one in West Lafayette, South Bend or Hinkle Fieldhouse, Jeremy.

*Say Hello (and then Goodbye) to Keldon Johnson

I agree. The Kentucky freshman that I most want to observe is Johnson, a dynamic 6-6 wing who plays with that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist edge.

Translation: He loves to win. He loves to score. He hates to lose.

That will make him the No. 12 pick next season.

Every coach I’ve asked has raved about Johnson’ motor.

Woo said that Johnson was the most impressive player during practice for the 2018 McDonald’s all-American game, that he is extremely competitive and that he can be a bully with the basketball.

Check. Check. Check.

*Say Hello to P.J. Washington

It’s a stretch to say that Woo broke news here because nothing is official. But Sports Illustrated ranks Washington as the No. 19 pick in the 2019 draft, which translates into a projection that Washington will return for his sophomore season.

You know the situation: The Wildcats have three guys in Draft Limbo — Washington, forwards Jerred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel.

John Calipari needs two of the three to return to construct a monstrous team for next winter. After discussing the scene with several draftniks last week, my sense is the two players most likely to return are Washington and Gabriel.

But nothing is certain — except the 2020 NBA Mock Draft should be available by Monday morning.

*No Excuses For Coach K

In case you missed the news, Duke is projected to place its entire starting lineup in the 2018 Draft next month, led by a pair of lottery picks — forwards Marvin Bagley and Wendell Carter. Gary Trent Jr., Trevon Duval and Grayson Allen will also crack the Top 60.

The Blue Devils are in line to take it up a notch next season: Woo says Mike Krzyzewski will have three of the draft’s top four players — wings R. J. Barrett (No. 1) and Cameron Reddish (No. 2) and well as thunderous forward Zion Williamson (No. 4).

The guy most likely to stop Duke from sweeping the top three spots is forward Nassir Little, who has committed to North Carolina.

Now, it’s time to get to work on 2020.

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