Vanderbilt becomes Kentucky's sixth player to declare for NBA draft

Kentucky's Jarred Vanderbilt, right, Nick Richards, centers and Missouri's Reed Nikko, left, battle for rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP/WKRC) - Kentucky forward Jarred Vanderbilt declared on Friday that he will enter the NBA draft but not hire an agent.

That leaves open the opportunity for Vanderbilt to return to school. He had an injury-shortened freshman season with the Wildcats that he said, "wasn't easy for me."

The 6-foot-9 Vanderbilt averaged 5.9 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds in 14 games. He missed the first 17 with a left-foot injury and final six contests with a leg injury.

Vanderbilt said in a release Friday he has more of his game to show, "but now I've got to figure out if the time is right for me to do it at the next level or if I would be better to return to school."

Vanderbilt is Kentucky's sixth underclassman to enter the June 21 draft.

The other five UK players to declare for the draft are: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo - who all said they plan to hire agents - along with PJ Washington and Wenyen Gabriel who said they do not plan to hire agents.

The players must decide by May 30 whether to return for their sophomore seasons, but players who hie agents are ineligible to return.

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