After missing on 7-3 Purdue transfer Matt Haarms, the Kentucky Wildcats coaching staff has some work to do in finding another frontcourt piece for next season.
Now that we know the tall, lanky Boilermaker was not headed to Lexington, expect to hear about new names emerging in the coming weeks and possibly even months.
One of those targets, however, will not be VCU transfer Marcus Santos-Silva, who just announced the list of schools he’s considering, and Kentucky is not among them.
This comes after KSR’s Jack Pilgrim reported Santos-Silva was not a serious option for Kentucky at this time.
The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker adds that Kentucky getting a 2021 reclassification is the more likely scenario right now.
Looks like Kentucky not in the mix here. Supports the vibe I’m picking up that a 2021 reclass might the more likely scenario to add a big man. https://t.co/ocZHRcByRN— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) April 23, 2020
This comes right after UK reached out to 2021 big man Efton Reid, who has openly admitted he’s considering a move into 2020. Other 2021 bigs who’ve been mentioned as reclass candidates include five-star forward Jon Kuminga, five-star center Moussa Cisse, five-star forward Moussa Diabete, and four-star center Franck Kepnang.
Silva, originally a three-star recruit, averaged 12.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game in his third year at VCU. Since entering the transfer portal, he has been contacted by teams all across the country. His motor, fight, and strength make him very appealing.
However, his lack of height does give reason for pause from Kentucky fans. We have been told that Lance Ware and Isaiah Jackson, both at 6-9, are underrated guys that play bigger than they are. Assuming one of those two will likely be on the floor with Keion Brooks most of the time, do you really need a third undersized big man?
To be fair, in a head to head match-up with Matt Haarms last November, Santos-Silva put up 19 points and held Haarms, who is eight (!) inches taller, to just six points. So you are certainly getting a guy in Santos-Silva that is not afraid to go against bigger competition. I mean, Grant Williams is only 6-6. Santos-Silva is a similar player, once you take away all of the accolades and flopping.
But for now, Santos-Silva is not an option, and it appears someone in the 2021 class is more likely to join UK next season than a transfer big man.