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John Calipari and Jacob Toppin comment on addition to Kentucky Basketball

“I have heard so much about the Big Blue Nation and I’m excited to play for and be a part of that atmosphere.”

UK Athletics

The Kentucky Wildcats have officially added Rhode Island transfer Jacob Toppin, the school announced Monday. Toppin announced his commitment to UK last week.

Because he’ll have to sit out next season under the current NCAA transfer rules, Toppin will have three seasons of eligibility remaining with the Wildcats starting in the 2021-22 season. He is expected to enroll at UK and begin practicing with the team in the fall.

“I chose Kentucky because I wanted an environment that would challenge me to chase greatness on the court,” Toppin said in a press release. “I love the fact that Coach Cal asked about my interests and goals as a player and told me that they would help me chase them. I love that the players that go there are about the team and winning, which is in line with what I’m about.

“I have heard so much about the Big Blue Nation and I’m excited to play for and be a part of that atmosphere. I am blessed and excited to begin my journey at Kentucky.”

Originally from Brooklyn (NY), Toppin was a three-star prospect out of Woodstock Academy in Woodstock (CN) in the Class of 2019. He became an immediate contributor for a Rhode Island team that went 21-9 on the season and finished 13-5 in the Atlantic 10.

The 6-8 freshman forward appeared in 30 games with three starts and averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.

“I’m really excited about the addition of Jacob,” UK head coach John Calipari said in a press release. “Not only is he a great athlete, he’s a tremendous kid. He has some experience, but he’s only scratched the surface of how good he can be. My hope is our culture brings out the best in him.

“Jacob wanted this challenge and wanted to be here. He understands what this culture is and what it isn’t. He’s talented, athletic and can shoot, plus he’s a terrific student and young man. He’s going to be an important part of this program. I can’t wait to coach him.”

Be sure to read Mike Whitlow’s breakdown of Toppin and his outlook in Lexington.