Kentucky rookie Rob Dillingham is declaring for the 2024 NBA Draft


NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – MARCH 15: Rob Dillingham #0 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball in the first half against the Texas A&M Aggies during the quarterfinals of the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 15, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Kentucky freshman guard Rob Dillingham is entering the 2024 NBA Draft, foregoing his remaining three years of eligibility.

Dillingham, 19, was projected to be a first-round pick after a year of college and is selected No. 7 in Krysten Peek's latest NBA mock draft for Yahoo.

Dillingham is one of the fastest guards with the ball in his hands and has shown scouts this year that he can block dribbles and make good shots. He averaged 15.2 points and 3.9 assists off the bench for Kentucky this year and is one of the best guards in this draft at getting downhill and finishing at the rim.

Coach John Calipari, who left Kentucky (supposedly for Arkansas, although this was not officially announced), probably couldn't convince Dillingham to stay in Lexington. But he would probably still declare for the NBA draft.

The freshman star announced his decision on ESPN's NBA today on Tuesday. He has signed with the agency Klutch Sports Group.

“This was a decision I made with my family,” Dillingham told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. “I felt prepared. Coach Calipari taught me a lot about being a better teammate and that it’s not just about me.”

Dillingham was the Wildcats' second-leading scorer with 15.2 points per game coming off the bench. He also shot 44 percent from three-point range last season.

But despite a talented young roster, Kentucky lost to No. 14 seed Oakland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This added to the already growing pressure on Calipari, who decided to flee to a more favorable situation.

Dillingham appears to be doing the same, following the path of many Kentucky stars during Calipari's tenure.