Brandon Knight -- alongside teammates Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins -- has the next six days to make one of the most important decisions of his life. In six days, Knight, Jones and Liggins will decide whether to leave for the NBA or return to Kentucky for another season of college basketball.
So, where does Knight stand? Is he feeling the pull of the league, the pull of Big Blue Nation or both? Can a group of small-town Kentucky schoolchildren charm him into saying "yes" to a return for his sophomore season? According to Kentucky's Winchester Sun, those children gave it their best shot late last week:
The students chanted “one more year” as Knight was introduced and took part in a question and answer session with Conkwright principal Travis Earlywine. Knight smiled at the chant and indicated that he’s still undecided on whether or not he will return next season for his sophomore campaign.
“I’m still 50-50,” he said. “I haven’t really made a decision yet.”
As for coming back to Kentucky, Knight said he “wouldn’t mind it” and would embrace another opportunity to play for the Wildcats for one more season. “Kentucky is a great place and I’ve enjoyed being here,” he said. “That wouldn’t be a bad decision at all.”
Knight might be being just a tad bit generous to the eager kids; at this point, it would count as a major shock to see him return to college hoops for his sophomore season. The same goes for Jones. Both are slated as lottery picks or near to it at this point. Knight is likely to be the second or third point guard prospect chosen after Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker; Terrence Jones' draft stock got a major boost with the confirmed returns of forwards Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes earlier this month. Both are near-locks to receive guaranteed contracts, and both would be returning to crowded playing situations with hugely talented players at both of their collegiate positions.
Fortunately, both have a few more days to decide. They also have the benefit of what Kentucky coach John Calipari is calling the Kentucky combine. Yes, Calipari invited every NBA team to attend and view Knight, Jones, Liggins and senior Josh Harrelson in individual and group workouts in Kentucky's practice arena today and Tuesday. (Presumably, Harrelson will be working out in jorts.)
But hey: These are the kinds of positive, career-oriented things players and coaches can organize when they have more than a few days to withdraw their names from the NBA draft. Right, NCAA? What's that? You don't want to even get me started about the new entry deadline rule? Fair enough, then.