A huge part of the team's success, to this point, has been the play of their star-studded freshman class. Featuring players like DJ Wagner, Justin Edwards, and Rob Dillingham, although they have all had their flashes, it is one of the lowest-ranked players in the No. 1 recruiting class that is taking the Bluegrass State and college basketball world by storm.
The London (KY) legacy recruit has kicked off his collegiate career about as well as anyone could have hoped. Through nine games, he’s averaging 13 points on 61% shooting from the field and 59% from three. He is also adding 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 3.0 steals, and just under one block per game for the Cats.
Sheppard has seen his draft stock soar, and now ESPN’s Jay Bilas has named Sheppard one of his Freshman Standouts. Bilas also named USC’s Isaiah Collier, Baylor’s Ja’Kobe Walter, and Harvard’s Malik Mack.
“Among freshmen that I have watched closely this year, there are a few that have really stood out. One is Reed Sheppard of Kentucky. He’s Kentucky’s most complete player,” said Bilas of Sheppard.
“He can play the point. Can play off the ball. He’s a great decision-maker. Outstanding shooter. He’s got a great shot-fake, and he’s a really smart and heady defender. Leads the team in steals.
“Every time you put him in the game, he’s guaranteed two steals.”
Some of the freshmen that have stood out to me most thus far… pic.twitter.com/vMFb4ppZoJ— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) December 12, 2023
In addition, FOX Sports analyst John Fanta has Sheppard ranked as the No. 1 freshman in all of college basketball.
Not far behind is Rob Dillingham, who is having a remarkable year in his own right.
My top 10 freshmen in college basketball thus far. What do you guys think? pic.twitter.com/mtasDcQwwI— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) December 12, 2023
A lot of Kentucky’s success this season has come with Sheppard and Dillingham on the floor. With their great play on both sides of the ball, it has become obvious they need to be on the floor when the game gets tight.
Enjoy them while we can, BBN. It appears this is going to be a one year stop in Lexington for these star freshmen.