HoopsHype Willie Cauley-Stein rumors

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March 1, 2015 Updates

Knicks president Phil Jackson continued to scout top college prospects in person on Saturday. He was shown by television cameras in the stands at the Kentucky-Arkansas game. The Knicks are on pace to get a high pick in June’s NBA draft. Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns is projected as a top pick. Many draft experts put fellow Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein in the same echelon. Jackson likely had his eyes on those two. Earlier this week, the Knicks president attended Ohio State’s game against Nebraska and he commented on Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell. The NBA will likely fine Jackson for his comments. According to a source, several teams complained about the comment. It is against league rules for personnel to comment on players who haven’t declared for the NBA draft. ... The Knicks beat the Raptors on Saturday to win back-to-back games for the first time in a month. Hardaway Jr. led the team with 22 points. ESPN.com

February 26, 2015 Updates

To say the Lakers could maybe use a player like Towns is to say they've had a good big man or two in their past. They currently own the NBA's fourth-worst record and are on pace to keep the top-five protected pick they owe Philadelphia via Phoenix, though nothing is set in stone until the May 19 lottery. While teammate Willie Cauley-Stein gets all the national highlight attention for his dramatic array of dunks, Towns is more apt to score on an eight-foot hook shot. With either hand. Or a mid-range jumper. Or set up a teammate with a sharp pass from the post. He doesn't project to make the immediate pro splash of Okafor but he'll eventually make someone happy. "He's the one to take for three years from now," said an NBA front-office official who requested anonymity. Los Angeles Times

February 23, 2015 Updates

Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein has recently added a mid-range jumper to his offensive arsenal, and that hasn’t escaped NBA scouts. One veteran scout told SNY.tv that the 7-foot junior could go as high as No. 2 in the NBA Draft if he can consistently make that shot. “He’s always been a Top 10 player in the draft based on his ability to be a rim protector and rebounder, but if he can consistently show he can knock down an open 12-15 foot jump shot he can put himself in the discussion as a No. 2 pick.” Asked if Cauley-Stein has shown that ability to consistently make it, the scout said, “I have not seen it consistently in games but he has the ability to do it from watching him earlier in the year.” ZagsBlog.com

December 14, 2014 Updates
December 6, 2014 Updates

Kentucky’s Willie-Cauley Stein sure helped his draft stock on Friday. The 7-foot junior went for 21 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocks and made several key defensive plays in No. 1 Kentucky’s 63-51 victory over No. 6 Texas at Rupp Arena. “Made himself some money tonight,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “Best player on the floor.” ZagsBlog.com

April 18, 2014 Updates
April 14, 2014 Updates

Willie Cauley-Stein: I'm proud to say I'm coming back for my junior year. I still have an empty spot to fulfill and in no rush to leave the best fans in the USA! Twitter

September 3, 2013 Updates

He has also added polish to his defense, which was already a strength. "He's not the shot blocker that Anthony Davis or Nerlens or Marcus Camby was, and he may not be the shot blocker that [incoming freshman] Marcus Lee is," says Calipari. "But he can guard any position, so on pick-and-rolls, he can switch. That's of great value. The NBA is really into analytics right now, and a nimble seven-footer who can guard all these positions and who is improving -- Willie's going to be off the charts." SI.com

His freshman season went better than many fans expected for such a relatively unheralded player. His 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds a game, his team-high 62 percent shooting and his 59 total blocks (seventh all-time for a first-year Wildcat) earned him All SEC freshman team honors. But the doubts crept back during the season-ending game against Robert Morris: In 36 minutes, Cauley-Stein had nine points (including just one made free throw in four attempts), four rebounds, a block, four turnovers and two personal fouls. Long-nurtured plans to jump to the NBA disintegrated. "After we lost the game, I felt super uneasy about myself," he says. "I had a really bad game, and I thought, I don't know if I'm ready to go to the pros yet. I feel like if we had won that game and won a couple more games after that, I would have left." SI.com

April 1, 2013 Updates

Gary Parrish: Archie Goodwin is entering the NBA Draft. Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer returning to school, Kentucky has announced. Twitter

March 23, 2013 Updates

Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy told SNY.tv Friday that there is no official list of which players will return to campus next year, but freshmen Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress have all said they plan on returning. Freshman big man Nerlens Noel has yet to announce his plans, but he is projected as one of the top couple picks in the 2013 draft, along with Kansas’s Ben McLemore, Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad. “If the three players come back (Poythress, Goodwin and Cauley-Stein), they could have eight first-round picks on the same team…unreal!” the Director of Scouting said. ZagsBlog.com

Meantime, on the DraftExpress 2014 Mock Draft, Kentucky currently has commits from the No. 2 (Julius Randle), 3 (Andrew Harrison), 9 (Aaron Harrison) and 10 picks (Cauley-Stein). They are also in the hunt for the projected No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks in Andrew Wiggins and Aaron Gordon. The NBA GM also said that Kentucky pledges Dakari Johnson and James Young could be first-round picks next year. “Only question would be if they go high enough to come out based on the numbers they will get with limited minutes, but they are first-rounders,” the GM said. ZagsBlog.com

March 20, 2013 Updates

Mike (SF) Wow... RMU over Kentucky. Does this force some of the Kentucky guys to stay another year? They didn't get to have a post season run to boost their draft stock. Chad Ford (1:05 PM) Here's the dilemma. EVERYONE knows that Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin aren't ready for the NBA. Scouts, John Calipari and even the kids themselves. They should go back to school. The problem is two fold. One, this is a weak draft and all three are likely first rounders anyway. Two, with such a gifted incoming recruiting class coming in, there's a chance that Poythress and Goodwin especially might have to come off the bench next year. That alone won't hurt their draft stock (remember Dion Waiters was a Top 5 pick and he didn't start a game for Syracuse) but if they don't show real improvement, they could fall off the map. Not sure what they'll end up doing. Not totally sure that Calipari even wants them back. Usually players take the money and run ... but not sure that will be the case this year. ESPN.com

Three University of Kentucky prospects with a strong chance to be drafted in the first round in June, and perhaps be picked late in the lottery, all strongly indicated Tuesday night after the Wildcats' season ended in stunning fashion that they will stay in school rather than jump to the NBA. The disclaimer is that Andre Drummond said the same thing last season at Connecticut, though closer to midseason, and ended up leaving, another reason front offices put little stock in what college players say in emotional moments. But if the comments from center Willie Cauley-Stein, forward Alex Poythress and guard Archie Goodwin hold up when the time comes to make an official decision, Kentucky will be positioned for a major recovery in 2013-14 after ending this season with a loss to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT. NBA.com

ARCHIE GOODWIN ON DECIDING ABOUT COMING BACK: “I don’t know if it’s a question whether I’m going (to the NBA) or not. I don’t think I’m ready to go. It’s no reason why I think any of our guys should really leave. We should come back next year … and just try to do better than what we did this year. Because the expectations we had for ourselves this year, we didn’t meet them at all. We didn’t come close. So I think think that’s what says we should all come back.” Courier-journal.com

And asked about teammates saying they are also not ready for the NBA, Goodwin replied: "If any of us were saying we think we should leave, then we'd all be delusional. None of us need to leave. So I just feel that's going to help us in the long run because next year we have a strong group coming in and we're going to continue to get better.... I think it'll work out for us in the end, like it did last year. If you recall, the only one that left [after 2011] was Brandon Knight -- and Enes Kanter, but he didn't play. The other guys came back and they got a championship. Hopefully we can do the same thing with this group." NBA.com

WILLIE CAULEY-STEIN ON GOODWIN SAYING YOUNG GUYS AREN’T READY FOR THE NBA: “I have no idea. I can’t speak for anybody else. I’m not. I feel like I left something out. Something’s missing. I’ve got this empty feeling in my gut and I want to fill it.” ON WHETHER HE’S SAYING HE WILL, DEFINITIVELY, COME BACK TO UK: “It just depends what my situation is. I want to win a national championship. Could be next year. Could be the year after. But I never won a ring before, and I really want a ring before I leave college.” ON WHETHER HE’LL TAKE A PEEK AT HIS NBA STOCK: “Absolutely. I’ve just gotta look out for me and my family. If it comes down to it, if my family needs me, then I’ll go. But if not, I’ll stay and get a couple more years of education and develop myself (into) more of an all-around basketball player.” Courier-journal.com

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