Kentucky's Tyrese Maxey (3), and Ashton Hagans (0), listen as head coach John Calipari instructs them during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan 4, 2020. Kentucky won 71-59. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

One and done: UK’s Maxey declares for NBA Draft

April 6 was bound to be special for Tyrese Maxey. It was plastered to his wall where he saw it every day.

Initially, it signified the date of the 2020 NCAA basketball championship. But when that was ripped away thanks to the outbreak of Covid-19, the former Kentucky Wildcat was forced to give the date a new meaning.

And on Monday morning, by way of a Twitter post, freshman guard Tyrese Maxey declared for the NBA Draft — leaving Big Blue Nation.

Maxey breaks out

It didn’t take long for the freshman to break out as one of the best college basketball players in the country. And he did so on the biggest stage.

On Nov. 5, Kentucky was slated to take on then-No. 1 Michigan State in the State Farm Champions Classic. There, in one of basketball’s pinnacles, Maxey scored 26 points — helping the Wildcats escape Madison Square Garden with a 69-62 victory.

That was the first game of his college career.

By the season’s premature end, the freshman was averaging 14 points per game. Maxey also contributed 4.3 rebounds per game and 3.2 assists per game.

A collective 42.7 field goal percentage also jumps off of the page and helps Maxey’s resume.

However, what’s important is that Maxey thrives in big games.

Three days after Christmas, the Wildcats hosted then-No. 3 Louisville. From the Rupp, Maxey netted 27 points on 40 minutes of action in Kentucky’s 78-70 OT win over the rival Cardinals.

Different draft

Because of Maxey’s success in Lexington, there isn’t much of a question that he will get drafted. However, this year’s NBA Draft might not be all it has been in the past.

Due to the coronavirus, the draft might be held virtually. Instead of walking across the stage and shaking commissioner Adam Silver’s hand, Maxey might be celebrating from home.

Nonetheless, come June 25, Maxey will likely find a new home.

About Ainslie Lee

Ainslie is a journalism major at the University of Florida where she specializes in Sports Media. Her main passion is college football as it was a huge part of her childhood. Ainslie serves as a current correspondent for the Ocala Star-Banner, a newspaper for the Ocala, Florida area. She currently covers Marion County high school sports.

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