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By LARRY VAUGHT

Even though he knows DeAndre Liggins’ name is not on any NBA draft lists, Kentucky coach John Calipari still thinks his junior guard should explore his draft status and even go to a NBA combine to let NBA officials evaluate his play.

Liggins has until April. 27 to declare for the draft and can take his name out of the draft by May 8 and stay at UK as long as he does not hire an agent or accept money from any NBA team.

Calipari said he would not recommend that UK freshmen Brandon Knight or Terrence Jones go to a NBA combine because their status is relatively well known.

“DeAndre may be fighting his way (into the draft). He may go crazy (at the combine) and maybe get his way (into the draft). Maybe with him it is a little different,” Calipari said.

Calipari said the danger in attending a NBA combine is that scouts/coaches don’t forget a bad impression if a player does not play well. Calipari knows Liggins’ shortcoming is his overall offensive game, but doesn’t worry that he will hurt his image at a combine.

“What he is physically and how he is is not going to change and he will not be projected any other way,” Calipari said. “If you work out and do not show ell, they will never change their minds. They will not even watch you (the next year).

“If you are not able to fight and battle, don’t go. He will go in and they will say he needs to improve his skill level with the ball, he’s a little out of control. But there will not be anyone say this guy is not tough enough or does not have what it takes. I have seen guys go to events and kill themselves because they (NBA officials) will not change their minds.

“I am not saying he should stay in (the draft), but what if he goes in and works out and now somebody says you are a first round (pick). Then I may change what I say.”

Calipari admits Liggins “has come so far” physically and emotionally during the coach’s two years at Kentucky.

“But it is never enough for me. Like Darius (Miller). What I want them to talk about is that he got every ounce out of his body just like Josh (Harrellson) did,” Calipari said.. “If those guys think that way and I drag them that way, what would they be saying about those two (Miller and Liggins).”

Calipari isn’t sure Miller, who is also a junior, should put his name into the draft. Instead, the coach thinks Miller probably would be better off to improve his stock with a strong summer and even better senior season.

“They (NBA officials) don’t change their attitudes. That’s why you have to be careful. If you are not ready and they see it, they never change their minds,” Calipari said.

3 Responses to John Calipari thinks NBA draft combine a good choice for DeAndre Liggins

  • Gary says:

    I would say this is very sound advice from Cal. The NBA scouts will be looking for a players weakness not their strengths. DeAndre is tougth enough to play at the next level. His all out effort on defense could catch the eye of several teams. Terrence, Brandon and Darius would prosper from another year of college and Cal’s coaching. I also believe the projections for TJ and BK are a way to derail the train Cal spoke of earlier in the week. Cal has Kentucky back in the spotlight and this disturbs everyone who isn’t a Wildcat fan.

  • House says:

    I would recommend everyone come back and win #8 haha.

  • Mike Martin says:

    I totally agree with Cal’s assesment of our kids, and posted a lot of the same issues on another fan site earlier, though much more in debth on why they needed to stay. To me they should all return, and not simply for selfish reasons on my part. Jones and Liggins both need to improve consistancy on the offensive end. Both can be effective in this area but need to develop that go to player part of their game. Another year in Cal’s system, with time to rest during the game to allow them to play 100% while on the court will make a big difference. Jones needs to be the passer Cal has spoken about and continue to develop his right side and he will be unstoppable. Liggins is already one of, if not, the best defenders in the country. With Mike playing next year he will have the time to catch some minutes on the bench and be rested so he can go 100% while he out there.

    Brandin and Lamb both need to develop their bodies to survive at the next level. It’s not as important for Lamb since he’ll be a more of the true wing shooter when he goes pro, but he still needs it for his slashing game. With the tall tembers in the paint at the pro level he will drilled and must be able to take it. Brandin simply tried too hard for most of the season and that’s because he had to. It took a lot out of him having to play 35 plus minutes all season and it showed at the end of a lot of games. He also turned out to be the go to guy and teams did everything they could to prevent him. It looked at times like he let that pressure get to him with carless turn overs too. With Teague to help run the team, not to mention all the other guys on the team next year, he should be able to rest when needed, making him that much more effective.

    Early prediction. If all these guys return, however many games we play and zero. That’s right, no loses next season. Then see where their stocks go to in the draft.

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