The Kentucky Wildcats are going to have all they need to recoup the talent they’ll lose in the NBA Draft.
The most notable Wildcat expected to try his hand at the next level is freshman guard TyTy Washington Jr., who started 29 games and averaged 12.5 points per game. He’ll likely be a borderline lottery pick.
The Wildcats are also likely to lose Shaedon Sharpe to the NBA. Sharpe didn’t play a single second this season, so he won’t be a loss in terms of returning/outgoing production. Still, there’s no question a Sharpe return to Lexington would be the best thing John Calipari’s backcourt could hope for this offseason.
Assuming both Washington and Sharpe leave, Kentucky will have a few options when it comes to replacing what he could do offensively, and one they can do just that is by targeting Kansas State guard Nijel Pack.
Pack averaged 17.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and shot 43.6% from three-point range this past season. He was also named a First-Team All-Big 12 selection. Pack’s shooting would be a huge welcome for the Cats, a team that struggled to shoot from deep this past season.
With Sahvir Wheeler not necessarily a threat from downtown, adding a player like Pack would be ideal. Pack will be a junior this coming season and has started 52 games for K-State over the past few seasons.
Kentucky has two of the top 10 recruits in the nation set to join them next season, one a small forward in Chris Livingston, and the other a combo guard in Cason Wallace. That could pave the way for a huge need for a star like Norchad Omier.
Omier played at Arkansas State his first two seasons but is looking to transfer elsewhere. He averaged 17.9 points per game a season ago.
As with Pack, the real success for Omier comes from his efficient scoring, which may be an area of need, especially if National Player of the Year candidate Oscar Tshiebwe does not return for another season.
Tshiebwe’s status for next season is still largely unknown, making a potential addition of Omier that much more important. Omier shot 63% from the field last season.
Both Pack and Omier would be welcome additions as the Cats try to re-tool their roster for next season.
For what it’s worth, Evan Miyakawa’s advanced analytics have both Omier and Pack as top-five transfer options currently available.
Nigel Pack enters the portal as a five star transfer and 4th overall at https://t.co/cegyfz8ykZ. pic.twitter.com/oEqzwZKtWH— Evan Miyakawa (@EvanMiya) March 31, 2022
The main reason for Omier's high projected rating is because he was in the top 15 most impactful defenders in the country this season according to Defensive Bayesian Performance Rating.— Evan Miyakawa (@EvanMiya) March 31, 2022
The Athletic actually has Pack ranked No. 2 overall among every high school recruit and college transfer still available with this breakdown from Sam Vecenie and CJ Moore.
Pack can fit on pretty much any team in the country. He is capable of playing either guard spot but thrived moving off the ball this season next to Markquis Nowell, allowing him to focus more on scoring. He is one of the best knockdown shooters in the country and he can get it off quick, either off the bounce or the catch. He’s a career 42.9 percent 3-point shooter, made even more impressive by the difficulty of some of those shots. Pack should have no shortage of suitors, given he’s a high-character guy who can make shots and run a team. He is from Indianapolis, and the two Big Ten programs in the state of Indiana could both use a shot-making guard.
Check out some highlights of both Omier and Pack in action.
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