Kentucky's amazing young talents came together in the end, even until the end, giving veteran Connecticut a tough run in the NCAA championship game Monday before falling 60-54. Now these freshmen (and sophomores, let's not forget!) must decide on their futures.
DIFFERENCE-MAKER: Free-throws cost UK, lift UConn
BREAKDOWN: 5 factors that decided the championship
Here's a quick look at what each might be best-served doing this offseason:
Andrew Harrison, freshman point guard: He could use another year if he wants to prove he actually can play point at the NBA level. His 6-5 frame and versatile skill set will intrigue teams, but right now he risks falling into the second round.
- Verdict: Stay, maybe.
Aaron Harrison, freshman shooting guard: His enormous three-pointers against Michigan and Wisconsin may make it impossible not to ride the momentum, but Aaron Harrison still may not be a first-rounder. Running the show again with his brother makes sense.
- Verdict: Stay, maybe.
James Young, freshman small forward: Did you see his dunk in the title game? Young has enormous raw upside but was inconsistent all season. He still should be a top-20 pick now as a prototype wing with All-Star potential.
- Verdict: Go.
Julius Randle, freshman power forward: The NBA is ready for Randle, and Randle is ready for the NBA. He's the only clear-cut top-10 pick on the Wildcats roster, and he might go as high as No. 3.
- Verdict: Go, fast.
Dakari Johnson, freshman center: This one is two-sided: Johnson will face stiffer competition for playing time next season in Karl Towns and Trey Lyles, but he has a lot to develop, including his body. He's the late-bloomer on this roster.
- Verdict: Stay, probably.
Willie Cauley-Stein, sophomore center: He might have been able to go pro after last season, but now he is much improved. Cauley-Stein missed the Final Four with an ankle injury, but he showed NBA-caliber defensive ability before it.
- Verdict: Go, unless that ankle issue is worse than we realize.
Alex Poythress. sophomore small forward: Already a sophomore, Poythress can become a mentor for the next wave whose NBA talent shows later in his career.
- Verdict: Stay, with patience.
Marcus Lee, freshman power forward: Like Johnson, Lee must hedge his bets that he'll get more playing time. Unlike Johnson, Lee barely contributed this year. He could be the star of next year's team.
- Verdict: Stay, at least for one more year.
KENTUCKY'S ELITE FRESHMAN CLASS