The transfer portal strikes again!
The Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team has added major piece for the 2022-2023 season.
Reeves has since confirmed the news on Twitter.
The former Illinois State wing averaged 20.1 points per game last year during his junior campaign. He’ll aim to bring some of that fruitful play-making ability to Lexington with him.
At 6-foot-6, Reeves can really elevate over a defense and also fill it up offensively. A stat that should get the Big Blue Nation excited is that he drained nearly 40% of his three-point attempts.
If the last several seasons have taught us anything, it’s that you can’t have enough guys who can confidently create and make shots. Perhaps the absence of CJ Fredrick played a more pivotal role in the Cats’ late collapse this past season than any of us ever thought was possible.
Among Reeves’ most notable performances this past season include 34 points on 13/21 shooting in an OT win over Valparaiso, 25 points on 9/19 shooting in a road loss to Wisconsin, and 19 points on 8/18 shooting in a loss to Murray State.
From the charity stripe, Reeves shot 81.8%, including 17/17 to end the season.
With UK’s backcourt already losing TyTy Washington, Shaedon Sharpe, Dontaie Allen, Kellan Grady and Davion Mintz, Reeves should be a fantastic addition to put some experienced depth on John Calipari’s bench.
How did we get to this point?
Reeves already had a connection with Kentucky assistant, Chin Coleman, heading back to his AAU days with the Mac Irvin Fire.
Once his name went into the portal on March 21st, Kentucky seemed like an option that would at least be explored. Reeves would then visit campus on April 16th, and the rest is history.
Here’s a breakdown of Reeves by The Athletic, where he’s currently ranked as the 25th-best available transfer/high school recruit.
“If you’re looking for scoring, scoring, and more scoring, Reeves might be the perfect player for you. He averaged 20.1 points per game in the Missouri Valley this year on his way to winning second-team all-conference honors as well as the league’s Most Improved Player award. Above all, he’s a pull-up maestro, capable of getting his shot from wherever on the floor at just about any time. He finished second in the conference behind Isiaih Mosley from Missouri State in scoring, hitting pull-up jumpers at a 51.4 effective field goal percentage, a very high number given his volume of shots. Among the 227 players nationally to take at least 100 pull-up jumpers, Reeves finished 19th in his efficiency in terms of making them, per Synergy. And yet, there’s a reason he only made second-team all-league despite those numbers. The rest of his game is a real work in progress. He has a long way to go as a passer and playmaker for others, and his defense leaves something to be desired. There is some question how scalable his game is to high-major situations where he’s just a piece of the puzzle. Still, my bet is a good high-major takes a shot on him and sees if those parts of his game can improve. The scoring is lethal enough to take such an informed bet.”
While Reeves is a very nice addition, the Kentucky coaching staff surely isn’t done constructing its roster for next season. Even with Reeves joining the list of expected returnees,
It’s safe to say that John Calipari will leave no stone unturned when thinking about what tools he’ll need to have a Final Four contender in 2023.
Adding a player like Antonio Reeves, a proven 20+ point per game scorer, is a heck of a way to get started.
Check out his highlights.