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Willie Cauley-Stein not thinking NBA, but says, ‘Why not stay in school?’


ST. LOUIS — Willie Cauley-Stein has never hid from criticism or overestimated his own worth. Yet in a few weeks, he’ll have to make the biggest decision of his life — and one that will be much harder than picking UK over home state Kansas State two years ago. He’ll have to decide whether to leave UK for the NBA or return to Kentucky for his junior season.

“I am not even really thinking about that. I am just focused on our team. I have never won a championship and I want to make a run to the Final Four,” Cauley-Stein said.

Does he enjoy UK?

“College? Yeah, it is fun. You meet a lot of people and college ball is fun. It’s not a big thing on my mind to leave, you know what I am saying. If the opportunity presents itself, then why wouldn’t you go. But if not, I am cool with staying a year or two here,” he said.

“I don’t really even know what I enjoy the most. You just have like security. Like if you leave, you are on  your own. Know what I am saying? In college, you have a whole coaching staff that is kind of like your dad and they are family just like your family. You don’t feel alone like you would if you left and you started to having to pay for yourself. It’s not like you have a meal plan. You have to start paying bills and stuff. That’s a lot to think about when you 20 years old. So why not stay in school?”

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  1. Larry Pup

    Come on back Willie.

    1. Bluegrass Gal

      The NBA is a JOB! Get the free education and have fun while you can. Come on back and have time of your life. You’ll be glad that you did.

  2. Karen Sprinkle

    I liked his reasoning last year–if he went to the NBA, he would have to start paying taxes. :-) Why not delay that as long as possible? Count me as impressed by the growth he has made as a person and student-athlete at UK. I believe he is one of the guys “invited” to join Cal’s book club to get him more interested in reading, and now he is talking about how much he enjoys school. Stay as long as you like, Willie. The NBA will be waiting when YOU’RE ready.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      ” It’s not like you have a meal plan “……wise beyond His years ! WCS Stay…

      1. Larry T Clemons

        I saw that kitchen at the Lodge…

  3. dandr

    Are you kidding me? “He’ll have to start paying taxes.” Paying taxes means you are making money. The money a high draft choice makes in the first years is more than a high paying first year salary for the best grads by 16+ years. I wouldn’t begrudge any of the players for grabbing the golden ring. That said, I don’t believe any of them are ready for the NBA, not even Randle. The answers that WCS gave prove that he is not mature enough for handling himself on his own. WCS needs to learn to bring his focus to each game 100%, and certainly each free throw. He is an awesome player, if he will do that. Hope it happens for six games in a row.

  4. Aundie j.

    Stay Willie Stay! After watching your growth as a player this year, ( and a human being too I’m sure,) just imagine what next year will bring! You’re a young man with many years of pro ball ahead and In the grand scheme of life, one itsy, bitsy, little ole year isn’t very long and there’s a whole lot to gain from the college experience! Of course you can always finish your education later if you choose but from one who knows, it is just not the same being a “non-traditional” student. Whatever you choose I wish you the best and have really enjoyed rooting for you and our team this year!

  5. Helen "BBN Cricket" Cooksey

    We sure have loved you being on our team and I have to say – You are my favorite! The team is different when you are on the floor. You give them a confidence that is hard to explain but very real! We would be beyond proud if you stay with us another year or two but support the decision that you make. We love you Willie!!

  6. Larry T Clemons

    Willie, think what a Leader You will become for these New Kitty Cats coming in…YTou should stay and become a Top 3 draft pick….

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