Kentucky's starting five enters NBA Draft

"Kentucky’s starting lineup of three freshmen and two sophomores did most everything together. Now, they will go their separate ways in the NBA," according to the Tennessean.

Freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, and sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb declared for the draft in a nationally televised news conference Tuesday night. The group, all clad in similar blue UK golf shirts, came into the season largely untested before ascending to No. 1, winning the Southeastern Conference in dominating fashion and capping an NCAA Tournament run with a 67-59 victory over Kansas in the title game for the school’s eighth championship.

“It’s been a great opportunity playing here, I’ll miss this team, the way we played together. We all love each other,” said Davis, who picked up every major player of the year award and is likely the No. 1 pick in June’s draft. “I’m just going to miss this place. We won an NCAA championship here and did a lot.

The University of Kentucky basketball program stands alone with the most wins in the history of the game and with fans more devoted and knowledgeable than any others. My favorite book about them is Echoes of Kentucky Basketball. The work brings that history to life through the accounts of sportswriters over the past decades as they documented the most memorable games, profiled the coaching and playing legends, and tried to explain the University of Kentucky basketball phenomenon.

Only a handful of programs can rightfully argue that they are members of college basketball's elite. And only one program can say it's won more games than any other college basketball team. The winningest program in the history of college basketball is the University of Kentucky, and the Wildcats are an obsession for the school's students, alumni, and just about anyone who grew up in the Bluegrass State. Seven national championships, 13 Final Fours, and 39 SEC titles have no doubt contributed to the Wildcats' popularity.

Winning big doesn't explain everything about Kentucky basketball and the hold it has on its fans. There is a passion for basketball in Kentucky that's nearly unrivaled, the kind of passion that continues through the good and bad times, making good players great and great players legendary. That, more than anything, is Kentucky basketball.

This passion--and tradition of excellence--has always been colorfully documented by writers, locally and nationally. Echoes of Kentucky Basketball unearths the greatest stories ever written about the most successful program in college basketball history. It brings to life the most memorable moments in Wildcats history and the people who lived them. From Louis Effrat's account in The New York Times of Kentucky's first national championship in 1948 to William Rhoden's article about the Wildcats' stunning come-from-behind win against Duke in the 1998 regional finals, this book delivers the greatest games and the greatest stories. The personalities also come to life in Joel Bierig's touching profile of Kyle Macy (originally published in The Sporting News), in Tim Cowlishaw's tribute to the 2005 Wildcats, and in many more memorable stories. Finally, George Vecsey, Michael Wilbon, and others attempt to describe the phenomenon that is Kentucky basketball.

Much more than a scrapbook of Kentucky's finest moments, Echoes of Kentucky Basketball is also a look at sportswriting over the past decades and how the games, players, coaches, and tradition and excellence of Kentucky basketball have been recorded over time.