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John Calipari and Kellan Grady react to transfer decision

“I’m very excited to be a Wildcat again and play for Coach Calipari at the University of Kentucky.”

Davidson v Kentucky Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats are wasting no time in ensuring next season’s roster does not suffer the same issues the team did this past season.

Late Monday afternoon, the school announced the addition of Kellan Grady, a graduate transfer from Davidson.

Grady, a 6-5 guard who can light up a scoreboard, will join Kentucky after scoring 2,002 points in four seasons at Davidson on 47.2% career shooting.

With 240 career triples, Grady has made at least 51 treys in all four seasons and shot a career-best 38.2% from behind the arc in 2020-21. He has 21 games with at least four three-balls.

Under NCAA graduate transfer rules, Grady will be eligible to play for the Wildcats in the fall after graduating from Davidson with an undergraduate degree in sociology. He is expected to graduate in May.

“First, I want to express my eternal gratitude for Davidson College, Coach McKillop and his entire staff for giving me the opportunity to represent Davidson for the last four years,” Grady said via press release. “It has truly been an incredible experience and has made me a better player — and more importantly, a better person.

“With that said, I’m very excited to be a Wildcat again and play for Coach Calipari at the University of Kentucky. It is a tremendous opportunity to compete at the highest level and pursue my dreams. I’m grateful for the opportunity and eager to get to work.”

Grady will be Kentucky’s fourth graduate transfer over the last four seasons. The Wildcats added Reid Travis from Stanford for the 2018-19 season, Nate Sestina from Bucknell for 2019-20 and Davion Mintz from Creighton last season. Travis helped anchor a frontcourt that went to the 2019 Elite Eight, Sestina provided valuable depth and timely shooting for the 2020 Southeastern Conference champions, and Mintz was Kentucky’s leading scorer and three-point shooter in 2020-21.

“Kellan has established himself as one of the best players in the country,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a press release. “His size, his skills, his scoring ability and his playmaking ability speak volumes to the player that he is. Kellan played in a great program under a terrific coach, Bob McKillop. He is a four-year starter whose toughness and fight will add to our team. His game-to-game consistency – his scoring, his ability to share the ball and his defense – is part of what makes him special, and we are ecstatic to have him join a team that was close last season but needed what he gives us to get over to the top.”

Grady hails from Boston (MA), somewhere Calipari is very familiar with and has significant ties to thanks in part to his days at UMass. Grady is a two-time First-Team A-10 pick, won A-10 Player of the Week five times in his Davidson career, and was named A-10 Rookie of the Year in 2017-18.

Grady averaged 17.4 points in his time at Davidson, scoring 18.0 points per game his freshman season, 17.3 as a sophomore, 17.2 as a junior and 17.1 this past season. With an ability to play either guard position, Grady averaged 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in 2020-21.

Davidson posted a winning record in all four seasons with Grady on the roster, including an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018 that coincidentally pitted him vs. Kentucky in the first round. He scored 16 points in the 78-73 loss to UK.

Grady was a top-70 prospect (Rivals and 247 Sports) out of high school. He was an all-state selection out of Northfield Mount Hermon School.

As of now, next season’s Kentucky roster will include returning college players Grady, Dontaie Allen, Jacob Toppin, Devin Askew, Oscar Tshiebwe and Lance Ware. High school recruits Daimion Collins, Nolan Hickman and Bryce Hopkins will also join the roster, so that’s nine roster spots accounted for.

Kentucky is still waiting to see what Keion Brooks and Davion Mintz will do, while Isaiah Jackson is testing the NBA Draft waters but keeping his option to return for a sophomore season open.