The question on the minds of many in the Big Blue Nation right now is will they ever see Shaedon Sharpe play for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Leading into Tuesday’s game vs. Mississippi State, the buzz was growing that Sharpe could end up making his debut soon, perhaps as soon as that night. John Calipari even added to the hype by saying his players wanted to see Sharpe play.
Sharpe warmed up with the team and even had a game jersey on underneath his warmups. TyTy Washington was out with an ankle injury, while Sahvir Wheeler and Davion Mintz combined for five fouls in the first half, seemingly setting the stage for Sharpe to at least play some emergency minutes.
However, Sharpe ended up not playing in the 82-74 overtime win for the Cats. Seldom-used guard Dontaie Allen ended up playing 18 minutes to help offset the loss of Washington and the foul trouble with Wheeler and Mintz. Allen had played just 22 minutes combined since December 7th.
Being that the next game is at Kansas, one of the most hostile environments in college basketball, it’s hard to see Sharpe making his debut there, especially if Washington is back. Perhaps the upcoming February 2nd game at home vs. Vanderbilt is the best chance to get his feet wet in a game Kentucky shouldn’t need overtime to win.
Originally the top-ranked recruit in the 2022 class, Sharpe would end up reclassifying into the 2021 class this past winter. He’s now ranked No. 3 overall in 2021, trailing only Duke Blue Devils forward Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga Bulldogs center Chet Holmgren, who are strong contenders to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
When it was initially revealed that Sharpe was enrolling early at Kentucky, the belief was he was still ineligible for the 2022 draft. However, he is eligible for this year’s draft and is already projected as a top-10 pick.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Sharpe’s inner circle have been adamant the plan is for him to remain in Lexington for the 2022-23 college basketball season. Sharpe has even reportedly turned down $4-5 million to play at Kentucky.
Still, if Sharpe is a top-10 pick in this year’s draft, it’s hard to see him turning that down. So if he doesn’t play this season, the odds favor him never playing for the Wildcats.
So, what say you? Will Sharpe actually play this season for Kentucky, or will he continue sitting out? Let us know in the poll below and in the comments section!
Will Shaedon Sharpe play for Kentucky at any point during the 2021-22 season?
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