Kentucky picked up a commitment from Bucknell grad transfer Nate Sestina yesterday, providing a glimpse into the value that John Calipari found in having a senior mixed in with a squad of younger players.
Sestina blossomed at Bucknell last year after becoming a starter and doubling his minutes. He averaged 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while showing the ability to stretch the floor and knock down three pointers at a 38 percent clip.
We all know the value that Reid Travis brought to the team this year, and while Sestina is also a grad transfer, we should probably halt the breaks on the comparisons to Travis. They aren’t the same player and will likely be asked to do different things.
While Travis was pretty much an assumed starter when he arrived, that will not be the case for Sestina. He could end up starting, but Kentucky (hopefully) will bring back EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards, and the Wildcats continue to pursue Matthew Hurt and Jaden McDaniels.
Sestina could provide plenty of value as one of the first guys off the bench, providing the shooting ability in the frontcourt that Montgomery and Richards lack. Travis also came from Stanford, another power conference school, and while it was an adjustment for him also, it is fair to think that Sestina will have an adjustment period from going against Patriot League teams to SEC teams.
Landing Sestina is a nice get for the Wildcats. It helps to ease some concerns about frontcourt options next year and he certainly has the ability to be a piece of Kentucky’s run at a Final Four again next year.
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