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Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey declares for 2020 NBA Draft

April 6 (UPI) -- Kentucky Wildcats freshman guard Tyrese Maxey announced Monday that he has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.

"Even though I didn't get a chance to compete for my ultimate goal, this season was everything I signed up for," Maxey wrote on Twitter. "I know I'm a better player and man for embracing the challenge of playing for Kentucky.

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"It's time for my next challenge though. My dream has always been to play in the NBA and I know I'm prepared for this because I'm Wildcat made. Thank you to the Big Blue Nation, my coaches, teammates and everyone who has played a part in making this an incredible year."

Maxey, listed at 6-foot-3 and 198 pounds, averaged 14 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his lone season at Kentucky. In his debut with the Wildcats, the freshman guard dropped 26 points in a Nov. 5 win over top-ranked Michigan State at Madison Square Garden.

Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari praised Maxey on social media for making a significant "leap" this season.

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"[Maxey] made that leap this season. He met every challenge and became one of the best guards in the country," Calipari said on Twitter. "Not only was it his dream to play at [Kentucky], he wanted to be coached. He's going to do great in that league because there's nothing he can't do.

"[Maxey] can handle the ball, he can shoot, he's got great athleticism and he really defended as the season went on. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of what [Jamal Murray] was able to do and we know how well he's done in the [NBA]. I'm so happy for Tyrese and his family."

Maxey, a native of Garland, Texas, was a McDonald's All-American in 2019. ESPN lists him as the No. 8 prospect in the upcoming draft, while Sports Illustrated ranks him as the 10th-best talent in the class.

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