Vanderbilt withdraws from NBA Combine

Published 5:15 pm Thursday, May 17, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Jarred Vanderbilt has withdrawn from the NBA Combine and is considering his future options.

Vanderbilt announced the news on his Twitter account late Tuesday night.

“I’ve decided not to attend the NBA combine,” he said. “I’m still weighing my options and working my way through the decision process. Appreciate the continued support.”

Email newsletter signup

Vanderbilt played in 14 games last season. A foot injury sidelined Vanderbilt during the first-half of the year and another injury sidelined the 6-foot-9 forward during the postseason. When he was able to play, Vanderbilt averaged 5.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, including 10-plus boards in five contests.

In the latest rankings by ESPN, Vanderbilt is ranked No. 63 among the players eligible for the draft. A total of 60 players will be selected during the NBA Draft on June 21 in Brooklyn, New York.

The NBA Combine began Wednesday and runs through Sunday in Chicago.

Vanderbilt, along with PJ Washington and Wenyen Gabriel have until May 30 to withdraw or stay in the draft.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports has Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as the first Kentucky player selected in the draft at No. 13 by the Los Angeles Clippers.

“At 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot wingspan, Gilgeous-Alexander could become a great perimeter defender in time, which is obviously a terrific skill in the modern NBA where perimeter players dominate the league,” Parrish wrote.

Parrish has Kevin Knox going to Denver as the No. 14 selection in the first round.

“Anybody looking for a combo forward this late in the lottery would have to seriously consider Knox if he’s still on the board,” Parrish said.

Former Arizona star Deandre Ayton is Parrish’s top pick by Phoenix, which claimed the top spot in the draft lottery Tuesday night.

“There’s little doubt, now that the lottery order is set, that the Suns will take Ayton first overall and hope the Arizona star becomes a Phoenix legend,” he wrote.

— — —

• Killeya-Jones makes choice: Former Kentucky forward Sacha Killeya-Jones will finish out his career at North Carolina State. Killeya-Jones announced his decision via a tweet and will have two seasons remaining after sitting out next year.

“(I’m) extremely excited to announce I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at N.C. State University,” Killeya-Jones said.

Killeya-Jones played in 59 games during his two seasons at Kentucky, averaging 3.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He shot 59 percent from the field.

North Carolina State went 21-12 last season and reached the NCAA Tournament in Kevin Keatts’ first year at the helm.

— — —

Kentucky to play Utes: Kentucky and Utah haven’t played in more than a decade. That will change in December.

The two schools have agreed to a home-and-home series, with the Utes visiting Rupp Arena on Dec. 15. Kentucky will visit Utah the following season, with the two foes playing at T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 21, 2019. Three days later, Kentucky will take on Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic in the same venue.

“We are always trying to put together a schedule that our fans will enjoy while preparing us to be at our best at the end of the season,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “One of the things I hear most about from our fans is they enjoy traveling with us and staying at a destination location for multiple games. That was our goal in scheduling this game with Utah. It gives us a great opponent for our fans at home next season, and then in 2019, our fans can spend a week with us at one of our favorite stops over the last few years. I still get people who come up to me and tell me about how much fun they had in 2016 when we played North Carolina.”

Kentucky owns a 9-2 mark against the Utes and five of the past six games between the two teams have occurred in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats defeated Utah 62-52 in the Big Dance 13 years ago.

The Wildcats’ non-conference schedule hasn’t been completed, but the Wildcats will open the season against Duke on Nov. 16 in the State Farm Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

In another marquee matchup, next season, the Wildcats will play North Carolina on Dec. 22 in the CBS Sports Classic at the United Center in Chicago.