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Marcus Santos-Silva commits to Texas Tech

The top available transfer big man goes off the board.


After missing on 7-3 Purdue transfer Matt Haarms, the Kentucky Wildcats coaching staff has been working to find another frontcourt piece for next season.

Unfortunately, Marcus Santos-Silva is no longer an option, as the VCU transfer just committed to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. He previously cut his list to six, which included the Georgia Bulldogs and Ole Miss Rebels, but no Kentucky.

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, but for whatever reason, Kentucky never reached out, even though Kentucky signee Terrence Clarke did clamor for the talented big man.

Perhaps it was Santos-Silva’s lack of height that kept John Calipari from pursuing him, as it’s hard to play with a 6-7 center in a Power 5 conference. Even so, Santos-Silva plays bigger than his size, and he’ll be a major addition for a Texas Tech team that’s starting to look like a legitimate Final Four contender.

Looking ahead to other potential options, Kentucky is gaining traction with four-star center Frank Anselem, but he looks like a long-term project who would be a nice addition alongside an experienced frontcourt transfer.

The Wildcats have also 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.