On Thursday afternoon, an ESPN.com report indicated that Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was headed for the 2012 NBA Draft.
Kidd-Gilchrist, who iswas projected as a Top-5 selection, is said to be a bit baffled at the report.
While even Kentucky fans will not be shocked if Kidd-Gilchrist does indeed decide to leave Lexington, the fact of the matter remains that while the Wildcats prepare for their Elite 8 match-up with Baylor, there may not be any initial truth to the report that emerged on Thursday.
ESPN’s Chad Ford named multiple sources that indicated that Kidd-Gilchrist would head to the NBA regardless on whether or not Kentucky wins the national championship.
The 6-foot-7 freshman immediately responded via Twitter, saying, “I don’t know where this is coming from. This is MY decision. Right now all I’m focused on is my Teammates and winning Games. After the season I’ll make a decision that’s best for me and my family!”
Kidd-Gilchrist’s mother, Cindy Richardson, told the Newark Star-Ledger that the report was a “lie” and “it was terrible timing in bad taste.” UK fans will probably agree with that, as the report surfaced just one day prior to the Wildcats’ Sweet 16 match-up with Indiana.
Early this month, Kidd-Gilchrist came out and acknowledged his love for UK, saying, “I’m graduating here. I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying at Kentucky.”
So, what really can be made of all this? For Kidd-Gilchrist and the Wildcats, does it even matter?
Kentucky remains focused on one thing and one only; a National Championship.
Even despite the reports, Kidd-Gilchrist and his UK teammates hit the court on Friday night, rolling on offense and securing revenge against an Indiana team that defeated them earlier in the season.
Ironically enough, Kidd-Gilchrist tied a career-high on Friday night, scoring 24 points in UK’s 102-90 victory.
After the game, Kidd-Gilchrist was asked about the ESPN.com report.
Kyle Tucker of the Louisville Courier Journal tweeted Kidd-Gilchrist’s response:
Kidd-Gilchrist on ESPN report he’s bolting for the NBA: “It’s just people talking. It wasn’t true at all. It wasn’t true. I love Kentucky.”
— Kentucky Sports – CJ (@KyleTucker_CJ) March 24, 2012
So for now, believe what you want. Kidd-Gilchrist has not formally declared for the 2012 NBA Draft and any further decision or speculation probably won’t be known until after Kentucky’s season is complete.
With a number of expected first round draft picks, including potential No.1 selection Anthony Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist certainly isn’t the only one who will have to deal with an upcoming decision.
No. 1 Kentucky and No. 3 Baylor will tip-off for the right to head to New Orleans at 2:20 p.m. EST on Sunday.