LEXINGTON — Doron Lamb is the first University of Kentucky freshman to decide about his basketball future — and he’s going to return to UK rather than declare for the NBA draft.
The freshman guard, who averaged 12.3 points per game and led the Southeastern Conference with his 48.6 percent shooting from 3-point range, earned numerous honors during the season as well as after UK’s Final Four season.
He scored a then-UK freshman record 32 points against Winthrop on 11-of-12 shooting, including 7-of-8 from 3-point range.
“Last season was an unbelievable run for me and my teammates, winning the SEC Tournament and advancing to the Final Four,” Lamb said in a statement released by UK. “Losing the last game against UConn was tough and I don’t want to end my college career with that feeling.
“With the guys we have coming in next year, I know we have the talent to make another run at a national title. I want to help bring a national championship back to the Big Blue Nation because I know they’ve been waiting too long. I’ve enjoyed my time at Kentucky, playing for coach Cal and his staff and I’m not ready for it to end.”
Freshmen Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones, both projected as potential lottery picks, have not made any decisions yet on their futures. They have until Sunday to declare for the draft and have until May 8 to withdraw their name from the June 23 draft, provided they do not sign with an agent.
Kentucky coach John Calipari was pleased with Lamb’s decision.
“Doron has the opportunity to improve greatly with an additional year in college,” Calipari said. “A lot of players have opted to return to school which made it a tougher decision for him. Not only does he gain another year of maturity and school work, but he now has the chance to put in the extra work to elevate his game. I’m excited to have him back.’
Knight apologizes: Former Indiana coach Bob Knight has apologized to Kentucky and Calipari after saying that Kentucky’s starters on its 2009-10 team did not attend spring semester classes last year.
The college basketball analyst for ESPN criticized Calipari’s habit of recruiting players who spend just a year on campus before bolting for the NBA during a speech in Indiana last weekend.
“My overall point is that 'one-and-dones’ are not healthy for college basketball. I should not have made it personal to Kentucky and its players and I apologize,” Knight said in a statement released by ESPN.
The Wildcats went 35-3 during the 2009-10 season, after which freshmen John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton left school for the NBA, along with junior Patrick Patterson.