Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard Entering 2024 NBA Draft

Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard announced (via Twitter) that he’s entering the 2024 NBA Draft and forgoing his remaining college eligibility.

Sheppard is a projected lottery pick, currently ranked No. 7 on ESPN’s big board.

I’m going all-in,” Sheppard told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. “The opportunity I have is great. I’ve gotten really good feedback showing where I can be in the draft. I had an unbelievable year at Kentucky. It was such a fun year. It’s not easy leaving the fans and the school I dreamed of playing at. I need to do what’s best for me, and that’s heading to the NBA.”

As Givony writes, Sheppard was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, but he was not expected to be a one-and-done lottery pick entering his freshman year at Kentucky. That changed after an excellent 2023/24 campaign in which Sheppard averaged 12.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.5 APG and 2.5 SPG on an elite .536/.521/.831 shooting line in 33 games (28.9 MPG).

According to Givony, Sheppard grabbed the attention of NBA evaluators with his “shooting prowess, play-making acumen, defensive instincts, feel for the game, productivity and never-ending confidence.”

In his player profile, Givony writes that Sheppard doesn’t have an ideal physical profile for an NBA guard and there are questions about how that might translate to the next level. Sheppard also had one of his worst games of the season in Kentucky’s upset loss to Oakland in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Still, there’s a reason he’s viewed as a lottery pick, as he put up one of the best college shooting seasons from long range for a projected first-rounder since Glen Rice in 1988/89, per Givony.

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