After losing Cason Wallace, Chris Livingston, Jacob Toppin, and Oscar Tshiebwe to the NBA Draft, it felt like whatever optimism Kentucky Basketball fans had for the current state of the program went down the drain.
Watching both CJ Fredrick and Daimion Collins hit the transfer portal didn’t help. Add in that Kyle Tucker, as well as Matt Jones, seem to now deem it unlikely that Antonio Reeves will return, and morale has certainly hit rock bottom.
All of this negativity (that’s certainly justified) is in spite of head coach John Calipari bringing in one of his best recruiting classes ever. DJ Wagner, Justin Edwards, and Aaron Bradshaw are three of the absolute best players in their class. All three are uniquely gifted and should make an instant impact on the court. Rob Dillingham is the fourth five-star prospect coming in and is being somewhat slept on as an x-factor for this coming season.
Reed Sheppard could be one of the most popular Wildcats on campus since his father nearly 30 years ago. But even though Calipari is bringing in these five freshmen, he’s only retaining Adou Thiero and Ugonna Onyenso from last year’s team. Neither contributed much, combining to average just 4.7 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, and 15 minutes per game.
So, if Reeves is truly headed out the door, Kentucky is moving forward without much of a “veteran” presence in the locker room and on the floor.
It should be noted that Calipari has struck out on every player his staff has targeted in the transfer portal this offseason, all while losing multiple players to other schools. UK can continue to tell their fans that the state of the program is in excellent shape and hype up the incoming class, but Kentucky always has top talent coming in each season. Yet Calipari has not made an Elite Eight in four years and has fallen short of a Final Four in the last eight seasons.
The standard at Kentucky is to win. It’s really that simple. From being out-coached late in games to now losing his own players in the transfer portal, there’s a significant amount of heat under Calipari’s seat. He’ll have plenty of opportunity to cool that seat off this season, but patience amongst Kentucky fans is certainly wearing thin.
Too early to compare?
Madison Lilley Wants to Help Continue SEC Volleyball Dominance – Vaught’s Views
Great to have her on Skinner’s staff.
Matt Jones outlines booster dichotomy within UK Athletics – KSR
He certainly didn’t hold back.
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray Making NBA history – USA Today
They’ve become one of the league’s best duos.
Tyler Herro not yet cleared to return from broken hand – ESPN
Starting to wonder if he’ll even return.
4-star ‘25 LB Elijah Melendez loved “everything” about visit to Kentucky – KSR
Good to hear this.
Dolphins, Jets among most sensible landing spots for Dalvin Cook- USA Today
Where will the star RB land?
Broncos adding ex-Chiefs DE Frank Clark, sources say – ESPN
Chiefs have to be bitter about this one.
Bryce Young elevated to QB1 for Panthers – ESPN
Support Group Using Sheep Helps People Improve Their Mental Health – GNN
Studies have shown that animal therapy can have both psychological and physiological benefits, although most equate it with horses and dogs.