Freshman center Willie Cauley-Stein and sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer will return to play basketball for UK next season, according to a UK Athletics release distributed Monday morning.
“I’m excited that Willie and Kyle have decided to return for next season,” Calipari said in the release. “When we talk about a players-first program, our goal is for each player to reach his dreams. Willie and Kyle believe it is in their best interest to return to Kentucky next season to achieve those dreams, and I fully support their decisions.”
Fellow freshman Archie Goodwin also announced in the release he would forgo his sophomore season with the Cats and declare his name for the 2013 NBA Draft. However, Goodwin has still not signed an agent, allowing him the opportunity in the coming weeks to withdraw his name from the draft and return to UK with no penalty.
“Although I really wanted Archie to return for his sophomore season, I fully support him choosing to pursue his dreams,” Calipari said in the release. “He has the drive and desire to be great and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure he succeeds in life both on and off the court.”
On Sunday, the program announced that starting point guard Ryan Harrow would be transferring to Georgia State to be closer to his ailing father in Atlanta. Harrow played just one year at UK, and also sat the bench of UK’s 2012 National Championship team while ineligible to play due to transfer rules (Harrow transferred once before from North Carolina State to UK following his freshman season).
UK also noted in its release Monday morning that “Additional announcements regarding remaining players will be announced at a later date,” likely referring to freshmen Alex Poythress and Nerlens Noel, both of whom are projected to be high picks in the upcoming draft. Noel has not played since tearing his ACL against Florida in February, but is still projected as a top-3 pick in the draft. Poythress is also projected to be selected in the top half of the first round, but had hinted at a return to UK after the Cats’ disappointing loss to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT. No further information regarding their announcements has been released at this time.