The 2019-20 season was a memorable one for the Kentucky Wildcats. But throughout all the great moments of last season, there hasn’t been much good news with the 2020-21 roster in the last several months.
It began midseason when Kahlil Whitney shocked everyone with his decision to transfer, as he was clearly a work in progress who could still become an impact player next season. Instead, he decided to leave school and is likely to play professionally someone next season.
When the season ended, Johnny Juzang also announced he would transfer, as he looked primed for a major role next season. Then word came down that UK could lose all five of Nick Richards, EJ Montgomery, Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey to the NBA Draft.
UK has also watched several of its remaining 2020 recruiting targets trend elsewhere, leaving the roster looking pretty thin with Keion Brooks Jr. and Dontaie Allen being the only returning players to join the six-man recruiting class coming in, all of which were signed in the early signing period.
Needless to say, it’s not been a great stretch for the 2020-21 roster, but that could be changing very soon, according to The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker, who hinted at a big addition in the backcourt and frontcourt respectively.
Kentucky basketball has two major needs: a veteran big man and a veteran combo guard who can take some pressure off an all-freshman backcourt. I think the Cats will address both those needs in relatively short order with very solid players.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) April 9, 2020
UK is in desperate need of a veteran point guard to help ensure incoming recruit Devin Askew doesn’t have to get thrown into the fire as soon as he arrives on campus.
As the roster stands, Askew is pretty much the starting point guard by default with no clear-cut backup (both Terrence Clarke and BJ Boston have been mentioned as guys who could log limited minutes at the point in college).
John Calipari won’t allow that to happen. He’s never gonna allow UK to go into a season without a veteran guard, so it’s really only a matter of when, not if he finds another guard in the transfer market.
Oh, and Tucker made sure to note that UNLV transfer Amauri Hardy is unlikely to be the backcourt transfer. Hardy is someone UK reached out to, but it appears it didn’t go anywhere.
What makes this even more interesting is there’s not another backcourt transfer that UK has been linked to, so it’s anyone’s guess as to who it could be.
As for the frontcourt, it stands to reason Matt Haarms is the name to watch for here. He’s the only frontcourt transfer UK has been linked to, and the interest is mutual between both sides. That’s who my guess is for the big man UK could be adding in the transfer market.
So, who do you think the two big additions could be? Let us know in the comments section!