Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey declares for NBA draft
10:04 AM ET
  • Malika AndrewsESPN Staff Writer

    • Staff Writer
    • Joined ESPN in 2018
    • Appears regularly on ESPN Chicago 1000

Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey declared for the 2020 NBA draft on Monday.

“My thoughts were that we would be playing for a national championship [today],” Maxey told ESPN. “Although we’re unable to do that due to what our country is experiencing, I felt like this was the day to declare for the draft to make it as special as I thought today would be.”

Kentucky coach John Calipari tweeted Monday about challenging Maxey:

I was harder on @TyreseMaxey than any player this season, and there’s a reason. One, he’s a great kid with a confidence in his ability that does not waver. Two, he has a potential that he has only begun to realize. And three, Tyrese needed to be challenged to take that next step.

— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) April 6, 2020

Maxey is the No. 8 prospect in the ESPN Top 100. He averaged 14 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his lone season with the Wildcats.

The 6-foot-3 guard burst onto the college scene with 26 points in an opening night win over then-No. 1 Michigan State at Madison Square Garden.

Maxey’s scoring ability was on full display during a Dec. 28 overtime win against then-No. 3 Louisville. He had 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting (4-of-5 from the 3-point line). He showed his versatility in a Jan. 7 win over Georgia with 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

The Garland, Texas, native was a McDonald’s All American in 2019. He joins the likes of Brandon Knight, Devin Booker and De’Aaron Fox as players who spent one season in Calipari’s backcourt before vaulting to the NBA.

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