After news broke yesterday afternoon that Shaedon Sharpe would be eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft, speculation began to circulate as to whether or not fans would ever see him play in a Kentucky uniform.
Kyle Tucker of The Athletic gave some reassurances on seeing Sharpe at Kentucky earlier yesterday afternoon, but it still wasn’t enough to stop the news from swirling.
Hopefully, hearing it from John Calipari himself will.
In a press conference previewing the Auburn Tigers, Coach Cal asked about the report on the talented freshman. The plan for Sharpe has been told for several months now, and according to Calipari nothing has changed.
“No, it doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t,” Calipari stated. “He plans on being here next year.”
With that put in its place questions then became, will we see him play this season. Calipari kept the answer the same, as he has in previous weeks since Sharpe’s arrival on campus.
“He’s watching. Whether I play him or not this year, if he’s ready to be in games, I’ll put him in. But he’s a great kid, and he’s doing well. He’s going to make practices even better. He’s only been here two weeks.”
However, it was Calipari’s final comment that is a reminder that he’ll always do what’s best for his players. In this case, that may very well be telling Sharpe to go pro if he’s guaranteed of being drafted high enough.
“At the end of the day, you know I’m going to be for kids. That’s how I do this.”
Star big man Oscar Tshiebwe was also asked about the impact Sharpe has had in practice.
“He has been great. He has been helping us,” Tshiebwe said.“ Whenever Coach thinks he’s ready, probably we’re going to see him...throw him in a game this year. But I don’t know what Coach is thinking about him.
“But, for us, he has been so helpful for us. He’s done really good.”
From what it sounds like, if Sharpe is ready this season, he will play. It’s obvious he is talented enough, now it’s just getting him up to speed so he can be an effective piece as this team continues to push towards March.