Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer will return to the Kentucky men’s basketball program for the 2013-14 season, while Archie Goodwin will forego his sophomore season and enter his name in the 2013 NBA Draft, head coach John Calipari announced Monday.
“I’m excited that Willie and Kyle have decided to return for next season,” Calipari said. “When we talk about a players-first program, our goal is for each player to reach his dreams. Willie and Kyle believe it is in their best interest to return to Kentucky next season to achieve those dreams, and I fully support their decisions.
“Although I really wanted Archie to return for his sophomore season, I fully support him choosing to pursue his dreams. He has the drive and desire to be great and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure he succeeds in life both on and off the court.
“I believe, 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.”
Cauley-Stein earned All-Southeastern Conference Freshman team accolades following his first season in the Blue and White. As a freshman, Cauley-Stein notched 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per outing in 2012-13. He totaled 59 blocks on the year, which ranks as the seventh most by a first-year player in program history. He secured four double-double efforts on the year and totaled a career-high 20-point effort in a win over Vanderbilt.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to develop as an all-around player,” Cauley-Stein said. “I’m also excited for the opportunity to try and win a national championship.”
Wiltjer will enter his junior season after earning SEC Sixth Man of the Year accolades during the 2012-13 year. In his sophomore campaign, the 6-foot-10 forward averaged 10.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He has sunk 90 3-pointers in his career, which ranks No. 26 on UK’s all-time career 3-point made list.
“I’m so excited about the possibilities of next season,” Wiltjer said. “I love Coach Cal and the staff, the University of Kentucky and the Big Blue Nation. After talking with Coach and the staff, I understand what I need to do. I want to be a part of another championship. This summer I’m going to work the hardest I’ve ever worked to come back next season better and stronger to help my team fight for number nine.”
Goodwin was the team’s leading scorer with a 14.0 scoring average en route to Freshman All-SEC honors. The Little Rock, Ark., native posted 25 double-figure scoring games and had five outings with 20 or more points. He ranked second on the team in assists (87) and steals (35). His 448 points scored in his first season ranks as the 10th best mark for a freshman in UK history.
“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,” Goodwin said. “I will stay in Lexington to finish my schoolwork this semester before continuing to pursue my dream. I’ve loved my time at UK and want to thank Coach Cal, the staff and my teammates for helping me get where I am. I especially want to thank the Big Blue Nation for all their support.”
Goodwin has not signed with an agent. The NBA Draft is June 27.