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Coach Cal Reveals How Many Kentucky Players Declared

Kentucky head coach John Calipari speaks to the media.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 28: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats speaks with the media at a press conference during a practice session ahead of the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at Sprint Center on March 28, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Every year, Kentucky has several players enter the NBA Draft as underclassmen. This year will be no different.

The deadline to enter the NBA Draft is not for a while, but each year, dozens of players go through the process and receive feedback. Based off the info from NBA teams, they then ultimately decided to remain in the draft or return to school.

As of now, we have an idea of how many Kentucky Wildcats will at least test the NBA waters, thanks to John Calipari. Calipari confirmed that five players have put their name in the draft during an appearance on SEC Network’s “SEC House Party” Friday.

Calipari did not refer to any of the players by name, but said that he's been able to keep in touch with his team via conference call while they have been separated due to coronavirus precautions.

“What we did, before they left, I had individual meetings with each player and I had the staff in there,” Calipari said, via Kentucky Sports Radio. “I wanted everybody to hear it together individually with my staff. Then we just did a Zoom (video conference) call yesterday with my entire team to try to keep touching base with them, but the reality of it was five of them have put their name in the draft.”

Based on Kentucky's roster, it isn't hard to discern who the five players probably are. The team's starting unit of Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Maxey and frontcourt players Nick Richards and E.J. Montgomery all will draw varying degrees of NBA interest.

Reserve wing Johnny Juzang is transferring, and big man Nate Sestina is graduating, so neither of them fit the bill. Keion Brooks appeared in all 31 games as a freshman but isn't ready to consider a professional career at this point.

The next step for Calipari and his NBA hopefuls is figuring out how the draft schedule will change this spring given the current reality we're all living in.

“We’re trying to figure out how, with the draft [potentially] moving, will they be able to come back to college at a later date than normal?” Calipari asked. “What if they go through the draft and don’t get drafted? Come back to college. This is uncertain times right now, the NBA doesn’t know when we’re going to have a draft.”

Kentucky finished the 2019-20 regular season with a 25-6 record.