By Clayton Abernathy
Marcus Lee, one of the University of Kentucky’s most beloved basketball players on and off the court, may have played his last game in the blue and white. According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Lee has every intention of forgoing his senior season and entering the NBA draft.
Lee has not hired an agent yet, but told Goodman that “my plan is to go to the NBA. That’s the only goal.”
The new draft eligibility rules allow Lee to test the waters and hear feedback without locking himself in by hiring an agent. He said, “I know I need to develop in some areas. For me, it is about finding the team that is the right fit and wants me to develop in their system.”
Lee averaged 6.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in his junior year. With departures of Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl Towns, Trey Lyles and Dakari Johnson in 2015, Lee took an expanded role and doubled his playing time last season. However, consistency issues plagued him all year. Lee struggled with foul trouble and battling on the block with more physical opponents last year.
For Lee, his experience was more than just playing basketball. If this is the end for him at UK, his three-year journey was filled with giving back to those who need it most. In early March, he was named to the SEC Community Service Team for the second consecutive year.
While Lee doesn’t have a definite answer on his future, he does feel that he has given his all at UK.
He told Goodman, “I’ve talked to Coach Cal about this, and he definitely understands that I’m going to the NBA this year…I did what my team needed me to do, I had to do the little things like rebound and block shots.”
According to ESPN, Lee is currently projected as a second-round pick.
The NBA draft is June 23rd.
(photo from indystar.com)