UK freshmen say they’ll return next season

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Ironically, the kind of one-for-all unity and resolve that Kentucky sought all season surfaced after a 59-57 loss to Robert Morris Tuesday. Members of the much-heralded freshman class — minus Nerlens Noel, of course — all said they intended to return to UK next season.
“I don’t think it’s a question of whether I’m going (to the NBA) or not,” said Archie Goodwin, who led UK with 18 points. “I don’t think I’m ready to go.”
Then Goodwin added, “There’s no reason any of our guys should really leave. We should come back next year . . . and just try to do better.”
Alex Poythress echoed Goodwin’s assessment. “I don’t think I’m ready,” he said.
Poythress said he would concentrate on off-season workouts. “That’s when you get better,” he said. That’s when the Cats can “continue to regroup.”
Willie Cauley-Stein, who assumed the center when Noel torn an anterior cruciate ligament last month, laughed when asked if he might enter this year’s NBA Draft.
“No,” he said. “Nobody’s ready for it. I don’t think anybody’s ready for it mentality-wise, body-wise, athletic-wise.”
Cauley-Stein said the disappointing season left him feeling a need to return.
“I’ve got this empty feeling in my gut and I want to fill it,” he said.
But, Cauley-Stein did not rule out an entry into the 2013 NBA Draft.
“It just depends on what my situation is,” he said. “I want to win a national championship. It could be next year. Could be the year after.”
But the financial security of being a NBA first-round pick cannot be automatically dismissed, he said. “If my family needs me, I’ll go.”
Goodwin sounded like John Calipari — even using one of his favorite words — in suggesting all UK freshmen (with the possible exception of Noel) should return.
“If any of us are saying we think we should leave, we’re all being delusional,” he said. “None of us need to leave. (Returning) is just going to help us in the long run.”
Calipari said he would sit down and discuss options with each UK player individually.
“You expect me to be honest with them,” he said, “and that’s what I’ll do.”