Now that we know what’s up with Kentucky’s pro prospects, expect the 2010 high school recruiting class to come into focus. With the announcement that five Wildcats — freshmen John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe, plus junior Patrick Patterson — have declared for this year’s NBA Draft, high-profile undecided high schoolers like Brandon Knight, C.J. Leslie, Josh Selby and others now know what they’re going into should they sign with Kentucky. The rest of the undecided chips will fall accordingly.
Cousins and Patterson are two big men projected to go in the Lottery (although there is some controversy over whether Patterson has officially decided to go pro), while the less-featured point guard Bledsoe and center Orton will have to show in workouts that they are worthy of first-round picks. Wall is of course projected to be the No. 1 overall pick, a point guard with Derrick Rose-like ability. His biggest challenger for that top spot is Ohio State’s Evan Turner, who also declared for the Draft this week. The junior Turner is the reigning national P.O.Y. and a 6-6 Brandon Roy clone.
Also declaring over the past couple of days: Oklahoma sophomore guard Willie Warren, Texas freshman guard Avery Bradley and Kansas freshman guard Xavier Henry. There are also reports that UAB junior wing Elijah Millsap (brother of Paul Millsap) and Vanderbilt junior center A.J. Ogilvy are going to go pro.
* In today’s WNBA Draft, UConn center Tina Charles went No. 1 overall to the Connecticut Sun (funny how that always seems to work out in the W). Virginia’s Monica Wright went No. 2 to Minnesota, followed by Nebraska’s Kelsey Griffin (Minnesota), Rutgers’ Epiphanny Price (Chicago), and Stanford’s Jayne Appel (San Antonio) to round out the top five.
* I just watched Alysa Clark (Middle Tennessee State) get picked 17th by San Antonio. Clark led the country in scoring two years in a row, dropping 28 ppg this season. Clark’s boyfriend is Warriors’ PF Brandan Wright. One NBA TV announcer called him, “a great NBA player.” OK …
* Did you know Nolan Richardson is the new coach of the Tulsa Shock (former the Detroit Shock)? This is the same team that also signed Marion Jones. If this were 1994, they’d be a lock for the championship.