The 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats continued making their collective mark on the record books as a record-tying 4 former Cats were selected in the lottery portion of the 2015 NBA Draft. Karl-Anthony Towns was selected first overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Willie Cauley-Stein went to the Sacramento Kings (#6), the Utah Jazz selected Trey Lyles at #12 and Devin Booker was selected #13 by the Phoenix Suns. Kentucky tied the 2005 North Carolina Tar Heels for the most lottery draft picks in one single draft. Kentucky did set a record with the program’s third #1 overall selection as Towns joined John Wall (2010) and Anthony Davis (2012) with that distinction.
Coming off the heels of prized recruit Jamal Murray selecting the Cats for the upcoming season and solidifying another top class, head coach John Calipari couldn’t be hotter. With some both inside and outside of the Big Blue Nation questioning whether he had lost a bit of luster, Cal is right back in the spotlight that he crazes. With each former Cat drafted, Calipari was right there on TV, hugging and congratulating his players. As it has come to pass since his arrival in Lexington, John Calipari has made Kentucky Basketball the brand name not only in college basketball, but in the NBA as well. With the 4 players selected in the first round 21 of the 47 players that have played for Cal in Lexington have been drafted into the NBA.
Karl-Anthony Towns looks to be the centerpiece of a Timberwolves team that has nowhere to go but up. The franchise is in total rebuild mode, finishing the 2014-15 season with a record of 16-66. With 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins on the roster, Minnesota adding Towns gives them another potential star to help return the playoffs. With Kevin Garnett and former Louisville Cardinal Gorgui Dieng to help, Towns has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Wall and Davis and become and All Star caliber player.
DeMarcus Cousins may or may not be in Sacramento when Willie Cauley-Stein arrives. If the two former Wildcats do see the floor together, the Kings will have quite a formidable twin towers frontcourt. Cousins is already a 20 point-10 rebound guy (leading the league over the last three seasons) and adding WCS to the roster can bolster the defense. With most scouts calling him the best defensive player in the draft, Cauley-Stein can protect the rim from the weak side and his underrated offensive game can be an added bonus. With or without Cousins, WCS will fit in nicely with Sacremento.