Posted by Matt Norlander
Try not to read too much into it, that's all I can say to Kentucky fans and those who are looking for a story where it probably doesn't exist. Taking this with a grain of salt, that's probably the safest bet. But Brandon Knight, nevertheless, did tell a group of students that he was "50-50" on returning to the University of Kentucky next season.
It's not going to happen, but in the relatively slow first-week-of-May news cycle for college basketball, this qualifies as something to build a blog post around. Primarily because: If Knight goes back, Kentucky's on North Carolina's level. And I can't deny I'd love to see him back.
I've written here before about the unexpected return of so many good college players, and I'd love it if Knight decided to head back to Lexington, giving our sport yet another boost of hype heading into the 2011-12 campaign. But at this point, unless he really suffers at teams' workouts, Knight's as good as gone, as he should be.
The encouraging thing about Knight's right to waffle: he's the most NBA-ready player Kentucky has. If he's unsure, what about his teammates who've also already put their names into the pool? Terrence Jones is solid in some areas, but there's a lot of need for improvement in his game. Junior DeAndre Liggins, the defensive specialist who also declared, is physically ready for the next level, but his offensive game has miles and miles to go, even if he his a sneaky-good 3-point shooter.
No chance all three come back, but one of them very easily could. Liggins is seen as a second-round pick; Jones could conceivably play his way into the top-five in the 2012 Draft, should he choose to spurn immediate millions now.
The triumvirate has six days left. The deadline to withdraw is May 8. If even one of them is with the Wildcats next season, we'll have a tight preseason race at the top.