LEXINGTON (AP) — Archie Goodwin is leaving Kentucky early for the NBA while Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer will be back next season, coach John Calipari said Monday.
In a statement issued by the school, Calipari said he wanted Goodwin to return for his sophomore season but “I fully support him choosing to pursue his dreams.”
As for the two returning players, Calipari said he believes “with another year of hard work and competition, they all can take their games to the next level. I look forward to seeing them all grow into young men.”
Goodwin averaged a team-best 14 points for the Wildcats. They followed up their 2012 national championship by losing to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT to cap a 21-12 finish.
“This is something I’ve dreamed about my entire life and I feel like the opportunity is there for me to play at the next level,” said Goodwin, who has not hired an agent.
Cauley-Stein averaged 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds as a freshman while blocking 59 shots. He and Goodwin were two of Kentucky’s four selections to the Southeastern Conference’s all-freshman team.
Wiltjer was the SEC’s sixth man of the year after averaging 10.4 points as a sophomore and making 90 career 3-pointers.
“I’m so excited about the possibilities of next season,” Wiltjer said. “After talking with (Calipari) and the staff, I understand what I need to do. I want to be a part of another championship.”
School officials said they will announce other players’ decisions at a later date. Among those whose decisions were not announced were Nerlens Noel, the SEC’s freshman of the year who suffered a devastating knee injury in February, and Alex Poythress, another of the Wildcats’ SEC all-freshman team picks.