By LARRY VAUGHT
When he got to Kentucky, Bam Adebayo was projected as a likely lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
When he finished a productive freshman season, he was not only left out of the lottery in mock drafts but was also not a first-round pick in many mock drafts.
ESPN draft analyst Fran Fraschiilla said Thursday during a conference call with national media members had high praise for Adebayo.
“I think the guy whose stock was high early and it dropped and now is going back up is Bam Adebayo of Kentucky,” said Fraschilla. “Bam is the modern NBA high-energy big. You’re looking at 6-10, strong, athletic, runs the floor, can guard pick-and-roll, can ball screen and run to the rim and catch lobs, and he’s young.
“So Adebayo comes to mind as maybe someone that slipped in the so-called mock drafts that might be a good really good value. ”
He also noted that former UK recruiting target and Alabama commit Terrance Ferguson, who went to Australia to play instead of going to play and Anzeis Pasecniks, a 7-2 center from Latavia who played last season in Spain, are also players with stock rising.
So are those three in the 20-30 range in the draft?
“I think Bam is going to go higher. I think Terrance Ferguson should go higher, inside 20, and Pasecniks is one of those guys that would be perfect for a team with multiple picks,” Fraschilla said.
Kentucky coach John Calipari certainly thinks Adebayo is going higher than 20.
“Right now, everybody is stunned at how Bam shoots the ball,” Calipari said Tuesday. “I must’ve had 10 calls. He’s been exciting people.”
Adebayo’s high school coach had predicted that would happen because Adebayo sacrificed part of his game to do what UK needed him to do in order to win games last season.