The NBA announced on Tuesday night that 69 players are invited to participate in the 2021 combine that will be held June 21-27.
Despite an unusually less than subpar season for Kentucky, two players from the 2020-21 roster received an invitation to the combine — freshmen Isaiah Jackson and BJ Boston Jr.
Jackson receives the invite after a stellar season in the blue and white, averaging 8.6 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game. No aspect of his game stood out more than defense around the rim, however, as he led the SEC with 2.1 blocks per game and had a 12.7% block percentage which rivaled all-time UK great Anthony Davis. He was awarded a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team and All-Defensive First Team for his efforts.
His teammate BJ Boston did not have as spectacular of a season, at least considering the potential in which he was considered to be coming in with. He finished the season averaging a team-high 11.5 points per game, but shot 35.5% from the field. The freshman clearly was not ready to play at a level in which UK fans and spectators in general were expecting, but he still is projected to be picked in the second round of many mock drafts due to potential.
Grad transfer guard Davion Mintz was not invited to the combine, possibly speeding up his decision process as to whether stay another year at Kentucky or not. Despite what is already a full roster to an extent, the UK coaching staff seems to be more than open to the idea of Mintz returning:
“Kellan (Grady) also played point guard,” Calipari said in a press conference a few days ago. “Matter of fact, the first year when we played Davidson in the NCAA Tournament, he was the point guard. He got 16 against us as a freshman. But he also is a scorer, averaging 17 over four years. Then CJ (Fredrick) is a scorer and has a shot that you must have nowadays, which is that floater, runner. Because he shoots nearly 50% from 3, he spreads the court, and it is like he can create that way too. Then you have Davion (Mintz), who at the end of the year we looked at and said, ‘Wow, you know, his numbers as a point guard with assist-to-turnover ratio and other things weren’t bad either.’”
So, Jackson and Boston are for-sure headed to play professionally at this point, but maybe a sixth guard will be added to this coming season’s team after all.