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Sahvir Wheeler announces return to Kentucky for senior season

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Wheeler aims to lead the SEC in assists for the third-straight season.

Sahvir Wheeler Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

As expected, the Kentucky Wildcats have their floor general back for the 2022-2023 season.

On Sunday, Sahvir Wheeler announced that he’ll be returning to Lexington for another ride. He joins Oscar Tshiebwe, Daimion Collins and CJ Fredrick as Wildcats to publicly announce their return for next season.

Lance Ware and Jacob Toppin are also expected to return.

Wheeler had an up-and-down year after transferring from Georgia but showed spurts of brilliance while running point for Hall of Fame coach John Calipari.

In fact, Wheeler led the SEC in assists for the second year in a row. His 6.4 dimes per game were by far the most in the conference. The next closest player was Georgia’s Aaron Cook, who averaged just 5.4.

Despite being new to an offensive system, battling multiple concussions and a wrist injury, Wheeler still managed to be a full 1.5 assist better than any other guard in the entire league.

On the year, Wheeler averaged 10.1 points 6.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

At one point, it seemed as if he’d perfected that left-handed scoop shot in such a way that it had become indefensible. There were many head-scratching, frustrating segments of the year for Wheeler as well.

If you follow my work, then you know I have been, and still am, a huge fan of what Sahvir Wheeler can do for his team on a basketball court.

Not only does he push the pace on offense, he’s also a relentless defender who never lets up, not even an inch. I’ve seen him mentally dismantle timid guards with his non-stop ball pressure and pit bull mentality.

Ok, before you say it, I’ll say it.

The turnovers and poor decision-making have to improve this upcoming season.

Sahvir Wheeler turned the ball over 91 times last season.

Eliminating poor fundamentals such as jump passes will go a long way in correcting some of his turnover woes.

But at the same time, you absolutely have to let Sahvir be Sahvir and do what he’s best at — knifing through a defense and getting open looks for his teammates.

It’ll be interesting to see how long of a leash Calipari will give his point guard this season after playing Wheeler over 31 minutes per game a season ago.

It obviously ended ugly, but you can’t ignore all of the positives that Wheeler provided for a team that went 26-8 and was widely regarded as a frontrunner for a Final Four berth before the NCAA Tournament began.

Expect Year 2 of Sahvir Wheeler to be even better as the first.

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