Brandon Knight '10 Declares for NBA Draft
Kentucky freshman star Brandon Knight and his cachè of game-winning shots is likely one and done.
In a highly anticipated move, the 6-3 guard from Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest High School has declared for the NBA Draft after averaging 17.3 points (fourth in the SEC), 4.2 assists (No. 2), 4.0 rebounds and leading the Wildcats to the NCAA Final Four.
Although Knight has left the option of returning to Kentucky open by not hiring an agent, it would be a surprise if he withdraws his name before the May 8 deadline.
Pine Crest coach David Beckerman, who sits on the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame board of trustees, said Knight’s unrelenting work ethic, discipline and skills set he showed in leading Pine Crest to two state titles and becoming the No. 2 all-time prep scorer in Florida set the blueprint for Knight ascending to a probable NBA lottery pick.
“The NBA is a dream that this young man has had his whole life,” Beckerman said. “This is something that he always wanted and worked hard and strived for. Brandon brings leadership qualities, a driven will to win and a concept of understanding that he will get everyone involved. Everybody is excited for him and we wish him luck.”
In the most recent mock draft by NBAdraft.net, Knight is projected to be selected fifth overall by Sacramento and the second point guard behind Duke 6-2 freshman Kyrie Irving, who is slated to go No. 2 to Cleveland.
Knight shrugged off the high expectations that came following John Wall, Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose as lottery-bound point guards under Kentucky coach John Calipari (Rose played for Calipari at Memphis) by establishing his own identity.
He became the unquestioned leader and calming force on a freshman-laden Kentucky team and proceeded to show the knack to deliver in the clutch during Kentucky's tourney run.
After missing his first seven shots against Princeton in the first round, Knight hit the game-winner with two seconds left, then scored a career-high 30 points against West Virginia before adding to his late game heroics by knocking down the winning jumper with five seconds left against top-seeded Ohio State.
Knight poured in a game-high 22 points against North Carolina in the Elite Eight to set up his highly anticipated showdown with UConn star guard Kemba Walker in the Final Four.
Although the Wildcats (29-9) fell 56-55 to the eventual national champion Huskies, Knight proved the equal to Final Four MVP Walker, finishing with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/04/20/2177478/pine-crest-alum-brandon-knight.html#ixzz1KACwihAg