LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe will enter the NBA draft and be evaluated while maintaining his collegiate eligibility after not playing last season with the Wildcats.

Several NBA mock drafts have projected the 6-foot-6 Sharpe as a possible top-10 selection this summer despite his absence of playing time with the Wildcats (26-8), who were upset 85-79 in overtime of the NCAA Tournament first round by tiny No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s.

Sharpe practiced with Kentucky and dressed for games after enrolling in January after originally being considered the consensus No. 1 overall prospect of the 2022 class. The NBA draft combine in May 16-22 with a June 1 deadline for the London, Ontario, native to return to school.

Sharpe stated in a release Thursday that while unsure of what lies ahead, he must test the waters and receive feedback. He added, “I pray you all will understand this is not a decision I’ve taken lightly.”

Coach John Calipari noted that Sharpe has already registered for summer and fall classes at Kentucky but said he supports Sharpe’s decision to explore every option about his future.

Sharpe’s decision comes a day after junior forward Oscar Tshiebwe, the consensus national player of the year, announced that he would return for his senior season. Wildcat forwards Keion Brooks Jr. and Jacob Toppin will also go through the evaluation process and maintain eligibility, leaving open the possibility of returning to Kentucky.

Guard TyTy Washington Jr. entered the draft and will forego his remaining eligibility.


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