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See when this coaching legend thinks Marquette's Tyler Kolek will get picked in NBA draft

There's a few weeks until the NBA draft begins on June 26, but Marquette's Tyler Kolek is getting hyped up by a few of college basketball's best coaches.

St. John's coach Rick Pitino – seemingly out of nowhere – posted on social media Saturday that Kolek should be a first-round pick.

"Tyler Kolek is a sleeper pick in the late first round. He's better than people think – sees the play before it happens," Pitino said on X.

As if getting backed by a coaching legend – Pitino also had stints in the NBA with the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics – wasn't enough, Xavier's Sean Miller chimed in.

"Agree!" Miller posted.

There are some connections between Pitino and Kolek. MU head coach Shaka Smart has long been an admirer of Pitino's hoops acumen, and both coaches are close with the Chicago Bulls' Billy Donovan. Pitino also coached at Providence when Kolek's father, Kevin, was a standout prep player in Rhode Island.

More: Shaka Smart studied Rick Pitino's coaching tapes. Now the Marquette coach gets to compete against him in the Big East.

Where is Marquette's Tyler Kolek in NBA mock drafts?

Kolek has already started to get some buzz, thanks in part to a strong shooting showing at the NBA combine last month.

In ESPN's latest mock draft, Kolek is slated to be picked at No. 25 by the New York Knicks.

ESPN writer Jeremy Woo notes that Kolek has "drawn serious looks from teams that are selecting higher than this in the first round."

The Athletic's Sam Vecenie also has Kolek going to the Knicks in his mock draft, though one slot earlier at No. 24 with New York holding back-to-back first-round picks.

"Any team looking for a backup guard could plug Kolek in early," Vecenie writes.

More: Marquette's Tyler Kolek hopes to show at NBA draft combine that he is a first-round pick

Rick Pitino and Sean Miller saw Kolek excel in Big East

It's not a surprise that Pitino and Miller are high on Kolek.

The MU guard had two stellar games against St. John's last season. In a close victory over the Red Storm in January at Madison Square Garden, Kolek busted out of a mini-slump with 15 points and 11 assists. In February at Fiserv Forum, Kolek had one of his best performances in a MU uniform, piling up 27 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds while noting he was cooking St. John's "barbecue chicken" defense.

In that game, Kolek also had one of the prettiest assists that you have to see to believe.

Kolek played just one game against Miller's Xavier as a senior, handing out 10 assists at Fiserv Forum in February.

Kolek did not play in the regular-season finale at Xavier due to an oblique injury.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Rick Pitino and Sean Miller think Tyler Kolek is first round NBA pick