Under normal circumstances, this would be seen as a big problem, but with the new transfer rule in college athletics, Calipari has had a ton of options to complete his roster.
So of course, this problem did not last very long, as Kentucky scored a pledge from five-star 2021 recruit TyTy Washington last week.
Then today, Georgia Bulldogs transfer Sahvir Wheeler announced his commitment to the Wildcats on The Field of 68. His other three finalists were the Kansas Jayhawks, Oklahoma State Cowboys and LSU Tigers.
Wheeler was one of the best play-making guards in the country last year, which is something that the Cats were missing last season. He averaged 14 points, 7.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game for the Bulldogs in 2020-2021.
The big downside to his sophomore season was he shot just 22% from three. However, the 5-10 guard is a career 47.9% shooter from inside the three-point line and he can get to and finish at the rim.
However, Kentucky is not bringing Wheeler in to be a three-point shooter. With Dontaie Allen returning and the additions of Kellan Grady and CJ Fredrick, Calipari finally has the outside shooters his team has lacked far too often.
The Wildcats also needed someone that can get to the rim and also get teammates the ball in a spot to make shots, and that is exactly what Wheeler brings to the table. He was named Second-Team All-SEC and led the conference in assists, as well as assist-to-turnover ratio (1.68), proving that he is one of the best play-makers in the country.
Like we have seen with other players, Wheeler had also put his name in the NBA Draft to get feedback from the league on what he needs to focus on improving. Back in late April, in an interview with Jack Pilgrim of Kentucky Sports Radio, Wheeler talked about his goals and the type of program he wants to play for.
“If it takes one more year to come back to school and do that, make the right decision for me and ultimately achieve my dreams of playing in the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Final Four, playing for the National Championship, I’ll do that before moving on to the NBA level,” Wheeler told KSR.
Wheeler wants to play on the big stage with a real chance to win a National Championship and what better place to do that than at Kentucky? As for Wheeler as a player, he is willing to do anything on the court that is asked of him. He just wants to win.
“I consider myself a dynamic play-maker, a guy who can make the right play. I’m not pass-first, I’m not score-first, I’m a guy who will make the right play,” Wheeler said. “If the game calls for me to get 10 assists, 15 assists, four points, so be it. If the game calls for me to get 20 points and five assists, I’m gonna do that too. I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to win the game, a guy who can do it on both ends of the court. I’m always looking to expand my game, work on areas I need to improve.”
This is a very solid pickup for Kentucky as they continue to build a roster for next season, as adding a veteran point guard was a crucial step.
Now, check out some highlights of the newest Wildcat in action!