Kentucky freshman Rob Dillingham declares for the 2024 NBA Draft

Dillingham is expected to be a top 10 selection

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, passing up his remaining three years of eligibility.

Dillingham, 19, is expected to be a first-round pick after one year in college and is projected as the No. 7 selection in Krysten Peek's latest NBA mock draft for Yahoo Sports:

Dillingham is one of the quickest guards with the ball in his hands and showed scouts this year that he can create separation off the dribble and get good shots off. He averaged 15.2 points and 3.9 assists off the bench this year for Kentucky and is one of the best guards in this draft at getting downhill and finishing at the rim.

Coach John Calipari leaving Kentucky (reportedly for Arkansas, though that has not been officially announced) presumably didn't persuade Dillingham to stay in Lexington. But he was likely to declare for the NBA Draft anyway.

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

"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 how to be a better teammate and that it was not all about me."

Dillingham was the Wildcats' second-leading scorer at 15.2 points per game coming off the bench. He also shot 44 percent from 3-point range this past season.

However, despite a talented young roster, Kentucky lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to No. 14 seed Oakland. That increased the already escalating pressure on Calipari, who chose to escape for a more favorable situation.

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