All five starters from the Kentucky Wildcats' NCAA championship squad -- freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, and sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb -- declared for the 2012 NBA Draft during a joint press conference Tuesday night.
"It's been a great opportunity playing here, I'll miss this team, the way we played together. We all love each other," said Davis, who's expected to be the first overall pick. "I'm just going to miss this place. We won an NCAA championship here and did a lot. We all did a lot for this school and I'm going to miss it."
The Wildcats are also losing seniors Darius Miller and Eloy Vargas, leaving freshman Kyle Wiltjer as the lone returning rotation player from last year's squad. Despite having his roster completely overturned, John Calipari is happy for his players.
"This is a players' first program. I said it three years ago. During the season, it's about our team. You saw it in this year's team, they were about each other," Calipari said. "When the season is over, it's about moments like this."
This is a proud day for the Kentucky Wildcats program, coach John Calipari, the university, and the fans. While it is far from ideal to have young people depart an academic institution short of completing their courses of study, it is becoming clear that preparing young people to live their dreams, whatever they are, is at least as important as a degree, especially when the studies can be finished at a time more convenient time.
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