Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight announced Friday that he will keep his name in June's NBA draft, forgoing his final three years of eligibility.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound guard said he made his decision after a combine for league scouts, where he was told he could be among the first 10 selections.
"My main goal was to be a top-10 pick. Nothing's for sure in the draft, but I wanted to hear something like that," Knight said. "A lot of feedback was in that area. Coach Cal basically said whatever my decision was, he'd have a lot of confidence in me and he told me to test the waters, and the feedback was great."
Knight averaged 17.3 points and 4.2 assists per game for John Calipari during the Wildcats' run to the Final Four. The player from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said he considered the league's labor situation while making his decision.
"It affected my decision a little bit," Knight said. "I had to think about it. With the possibility of being a top-10 pick, you don't get that opportunity all the time so I had to take that seriously."
Knight said he didn't come to school with a preconceived notion of leaving after one season despite the pedigree of Calipari's point guards.
"The way I was playing at the beginning of the year, I couldn't have gone anywhere," Knight said.
He has not yet hired an agent.
Knight is the first of three Kentucky underclassmen to announce his intentions after testing the draft waters. Freshman Terrence Jones and junior DeAndre Liggins have not yet announced their plans before Sunday's NCAA deadline for early-entry players to withdraw from the draft.
Knight said he strongly considered coming back to college for a second season because of the team's success.
"My main goal was to come here to get better and compete for a national championship and I think we did that," he said. "I think this opportunity just came up toward the end of the year and it was something I had to look into and take seriously."