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Kentucky is firmly in the mix for Walker Kessler, per report

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Kentucky is among several SEC programs vying for the talented transfer.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 19 CBS Sports Classic - Kentucky v North Carolina Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As the Kentucky Wildcats search for more backcourt help, they’re apparently still interested in upgrading the frontcourt as well.

A few weeks ago, promising North Carolina freshman Walker Kessler entered the transfer portal.

At the time, Kentucky was still in the running for Auburn transfer Justin Powell, who is good friends with Kessler. Many wondered if that connection could help bring Kessler to Lexington if Powell eventually committed to the Wildcats.

Since then, however, Powell has committed to Tennessee, but Kentucky is still apparently in the mix for Kessler, according to Rivals analyst Dan McDonald.

Gonzaga was initially believed to be the leader for Kessler, but it sounds like Kentucky is making a push for the former five-star Class of 2020 recruit. The 7-1, 245-pound center averaged 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game this season while playing in a loaded frontcourt, which featured an all-conference player in Garrison Brooks, a projected first-round pick in Day’Ron Sharpe, and another potential NBA Draft pick in Armando Bacot.

The fact that Kentucky is recruiting Kessler makes it seem like there’s not a good chance Keion Brooks is returning for a third year in Lexington. The frontcourt is already crowded with West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe and top-10 Class of 2021 recruit Daimion Collins likely commanding a lot of minutes. Adding a guy like Kessler would make it very hard to see Brooks sticking around.

Perhaps Kentucky is already planning for Brooks to leave and pursuing possible replacements like Kessler. Whatever the case may be, Kentucky is clearly a legitimate player in the re-recruitment of Kessler.

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