And The Number 1 Pick Of The 2011 NBA Draft Is…

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For the first time in the history of Kentucky Basketball, the Cats produced the Number 1 overall pick of the NBA Draft in the form of John Wall. The Cats have seen three Players, Alex Groza (49), Tom Payne (71) and Sam Bowie (84), picked second in the draft, but had been unable to crack the Number 1 position until Wall.

Kentucky set two records in the 2010 NBA Draft, Wall going first and UK having five Players selected in the first round, a feat previously never accomplished.

The 2011 team appears to have three solid first round picks and three Players that most writers believe, will go in the Top 15, matching the mark set by the 2009-10 team who also had three, Wall, Cousins and Patterson. Most have Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight going in the early to mid top ten with Terrence Jones in a low teens slot.

While Gary Parrish believes Brandon Knight will be selected in the Number 2  slot behind Harrison Barnes and Kanter will be taken in the Number 4 overall slot, one sports columnist, Doug Gottlieb of ESPN-U, has a completely different viewpoint. In fact so different that he made Kanter his overall Number 1 selection of the 2011 class.

Here is what Gottlieb had to say about Enes ‘The Undertaker’ Kanter |

1. Enes Kanter, Kentucky: A tough big man who seems to rise to the challenge of elite competition, Kanter should not be a Turkish ball of hype like Deniz Kilicli was last year for West Virginia. Whether he plays is up to the NCAA, but playing or sitting will have little effect on his draft status. He’s legit.

Gottlieb listed Brandon Knight as the Number 9 overall pick while Terrence Jones is projected at Number 13.

Kanter VIDEO HERE

This is the first projection I’ve seen where anyone was being projected ahead of Harrison Barnes from North Carolina.

DraftExpress.com had the following to say about Kanter |

Measuring in at 6’10 with shoes on and sporting a 7’1 wingspan, Kanter wasn’t the tallest player on the floor, but his 260-pound frame afforded him a ton of success on the block. He’s not a great athlete by any standards, though he flashes some explosiveness from time to time, but uses his body as well as any player you’ll see on the high school level. He exceptionally good at using leverage, is extremely patient, won’t hesitate to initiate contact, and shows outstanding hands.

When Kanter gets the ball in the post off an entry pass or offensive rebound, he’s very good finding angles to create clean looks for himself at the basket. Able to establish deep position and showing an array of drop step moves and little pivots, Kanter has a knack for taking what the defense gives him and doing exactly what he needs to get the job done. Savvy beyond his years, Kanter excels at the rim for a player without outstanding athleticism.

Kanter, Knight and Jones all represent the future of Kentucky in the NBA. I WILL enjoy them while I can and I’m sure in the end, I’ll come to enjoy them just as much as I did members of  the amazing 2009-2010 squad.

Go Cats!!!

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  • Chip Miller can be contacted via e-mail at ukbigbluenation@live.com.
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