Kentucky's Liggins, Texas' Joseph Staying in Draft

Kentucky junior DeAndre Liggins will join teammate Brandon Knight in the 2011 NBA Draft.

“Staying in the draft,” Liggins said Sunday evening by text.

DraftExpress.com has Liggins going No. 53 overall, No. 23 in the second round, to the Orlando Magic.

The 6-foot-6 Liggins, who averaged 8.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists last season, excelled Saturday at the NBA Combine at the Nets’ facility.

“DeAndre Liggins played point guard and I thought looked real good,” one Division 1 assistant coach who was in attendance said by text.

Kentucky coach John Calipari compared Liggins to Memphis Grizzlies forward Tony Allen.

“(Allen) has transformed the Grizzlies,” Calipari told the Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy last month. “Everybody is looking at DeAndre Liggins, that he could guard multiple positions. He’s athletic, tough, comes up with balls — all the stuff they want in that position.”

TEXAS’ JOSEPH REMAINING IN DRAFT

Texas freshman Cory Joseph is also leaving school after one season.

“He’s staying in the draft,” said a source with direct knowledge.

A second source confirmed the news as well.

The consensus among NBA executives was that Joseph stood out at Saturday’s NBA Combine at the Nets facility in East Rutherford, N.J.

Speaking to the New York Post Saturday, Joseph described himself as “a guy who will try to do whatever it takes to win, whether it’s taking a charge, passing distributing the ball, knocking down open threes. People describe me as someone who works hard gets out there and is able to shoot.”

The 6-3 Joseph averaged 10.4 points and 3.0 assists last season.

He will join Texas frosh and fellow Canadian Tristan Thompson and Texas sophomore Jordan Hamilton in the draft.

Since 2007, Texas coach Rick Barnes has now lost four freshman to the draft, including Kevin Durant, and Avery Bradley last season.

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