Lee doing what is best for him, but UK fans know they will miss him

Marcus Lee (Vicky Graff Photo)

Marcus Lee (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky fans got a little excited when Marcus Lee declared last week that if he returned to Kentucky for his senior season, then the Wildcats would go undefeated.

Most wanted to believe him. Even more wanted to believe that was a sign Lee would take his name out of the NBA draft and return to UK.

Well, he did withdraw his name from the draft but he won’t help UK go undefeated — or even have a chance to try. Instead, Lee has decided to transfer for his senior year.

Since he has yet to graduate, he will have to sit out next season. However, he’s fine with that because the NBA Draft evaluation convinced him that if he wants to play at the next level, he has a lot to work on. He can do that during his transfer year, get back closer to his family in California and still have a year to play.

Numbers don’t explain why Lee will be missed so much by UK fans. He was a caring, smiling you man. He did numerous things in the community and was always willing to interact with fans.

“I am sad about Marcus’ decision. I was looking forward to him being a leader for this young team next year,” Kentucky fan Karen Sprinkle posted. “Sitting out a year will give him the opportunity to correct the weaker parts of his game. I’ll always appreciate his positive outlook and hope that he finds his dream, even if he leaves Lexington to achieve it.”

Rev. Jerry Johns has a solid perspective, too.

“Just a shame for us, but maybe a solid move for his aspirations. I hope so. Was great to our community,” Johns posted.

Another UK fan, Maureen Kelley Davis, posted that Lee’s departure left her sad.

“I really love this kid’s heart, enthusiasm, hustle and energy. Gonna miss @JustMarcusLee but always #BBN,” Davis said.

Kentucky fans don’t forget their own.  Just ask Kyle Wiltjer. He left UK after two years, sat out a season at Gonzaga and then had two successful years. During an April trip to UK, fans turned out to welcome him back.

I think it will be the same with Lee and should be. He made the best decision for himself and that’s what coach John Calipari has always encouraged his players to do even if that decision might mean leaving UK.

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  1. There is no doubt that Marcus is a wonderful young man, and he will be missed ! I believe Marcus frame, (body) & game needs two good years of development, for the NBA…because of that belief, I understand His reasons and move. I just hope, I don’t find myself saying what I was saying last Season…” What If Kyle Wiltjer would have stayed.” He would have been a Senior, giving us a worthy Inside Presence, we sorely missed. ” With Kyle, Indiana easily goes down “….. All my best to Gonzaga and Lee, teaming up….The Zags are good with the Bigs !

    1. Latest speculation has Marcus enrolling at UC-Berkeley which would make sense. Wanting to be closer to home as he stated, by attending Cal-B he would be no more than 30 miles from Antioch, his home turf.

      1. Good point…..plus He may be able to Play Volleyball, this year !

  2. I hope he does land at Gonzaga. (still wished he was coming back here.) They were a help to Kyle Wiltjer and I’m sure Kyle and Marcus would or have talked about that program. I can not see him going to Kansas, although they could use him…especially his locker room presence and giving heart.
    Best of luck Marcus! You are a class act all the way! I hope you get the brass ring you are so deserving of with the hard work I know you are willing to put in! Once a ‘cat always a ‘cat!

    1. That was my thoughts….” I felt Gonzaga, would better prepare Lee for the NBA. “

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