One day after Kentucky forward Terrence Jones announced he will return to Kentucky for another year, DeAndre Liggins went the opposite direction, opting to forgo his college eligibility and stay in the 2011 NBA Draft. Early entrants have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern to pull their names out of the draft, else lose their eligibility. Liggins, a junior, felt staying in the draft was his best option, though it's unlikely he will be picked in the first round.
Liggins was known more for his defense at Kentucky, but head coach John Calipari praised the guard as he tested the waters during the draft process. He likened Liggins to Tony Allen, saying he could transform a team and provide versatility wherever he goes.
“(Allen) has transformed the Grizzlies,” Calipari told the Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy last month. “Everybody is looking at DeAndre Liggins, that he could guard multiple positions. He’s athletic, tough, comes up with balls — all the stuff they want in that position.”
Kentucky loses Liggins and Brandon Knight, but keeps Jones while adding a loaded crop of recruits. Calipari has assembled another all-star cast of incoming freshman, ensuring the talent pipeline will continue to flow for the Wildcats, as it has over the past two years.
For more on Liggins' decision and all things Kentucky, head over to SB Nation's A Sea of Blue.