It’s not many times in the John Calipari era that he has had his starting point guard return for a second season in the program. This year is different, as the Kentucky Wildcats return Sahvir Wheeler for his second season in Lexington.
After a disappointing finish to the year with the loss to Saint Peter’s, Wheeler is already looking forward to this coming season.
“That’s all behind us now,” Wheeler told Jack Pilgrim of KSR at his Player's First Satellite Camp on Thursday. “It is what it is, it’s unfortunate, but it’s a new year and a new season with new teammates. I’m just super, super excited to get back on the court and mentor those guys.”
After a tough loss to finish the season, Wheeler, along with Calipari, have a chip on their shoulder to right the ship with this 2022-23 squad. The UK point guard credits the relationship he has with his head coach to help this years team not make the same mistakes they did last time out.
“Building that connection with Coach Cal, we have a really strong relationship,” Wheeler said. “I feel I can talk to him about anything, whether it’s basketball related or not. That’s my guy. Having a year to build a relationship continuously, having that strong foundation, it’s crucial, especially coming into a second year where you felt like you had a team that could win it last year and fell short. I have motivation behind that, and I know he does, as well. He’s constantly pushing me to become the best player I can be, and I’m grateful for that.”
With the return on Oscar Tshiebwe, Jacob Toppin, CJ Fredrick, alongside Wheeler, it is obvious that this team will be coaching themselves as they pursue No. 9 for Kentucky.
Lucky for them, they also will be bringing in top-10 players in Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston, while also adding Antonio Reeves from the transfer portal. The talent is there once again (if not better than last season).
All of the best Calipari teams have had reliable point guards to run the show. It is trending that Wheeler will be that guy for this team.