One day, two great players leaving. Kentucky hoopster Nerlens Noel isn’t the SEC’s only high-profile prospect announcing his intention today to jump to the NBA. Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — the SEC’s Player of the Year this past season — has also said he’s exiting school early:
“I want to thank the University of Georgia for all it has done for me. I want to thank my coaches, teammates and fans for the love and support.”
Caldwell-Pope scored in double-figures in each of Georgia’s 32 games this season. The sophomore averaged 18.5 points per game for the Bulldogs this season, also pulling down an average of seven rebounds per game.
The NBA website DraftXpress.com lists Caldwell-Pope as a borderline first-round pick. That site projected him to a be a lottery-level pick in 2014, if he returned to school (and stayed healthy, and produced, etc). His stock has been rising on most other draft boards, however, and it’s likely that he’s gotten some pretty positive feedback from NBA sources, likely with the aid of UGA coach Mark Fox.
Caldwell-Pope certainly has the build and the touch to become a successeful shooting guard at the next level.