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Daimion Collins and CJ Fredrick enter transfer portal

Collins will look to move closer to home to be with his family following the hardest year of his life.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Next season’s Kentucky Basketball roster picture continues to become more clear, as two more decisions have been announced.

Friday morning, news broke that CJ Fredrick was entering the transfer portal.

Shortly after, Daimion Collins announced that he would be entering the transfer portal.

Head coach John Calipari has since released brief statements on Twitter regarding both departures. Calipari also revealed that Collins lost his grandfather last week.

Collins came to Kentucky in 2021 as a McDonald’s All-American. Standing 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan, Collins possessed the physical tools but was a raw talent. In his first season, he showed flashes but did not quite have the strength or the confidence to receive consistent playing time.

Last summer, Collins started a 5,000-calorie diet to gain some weight and in June he was already up to 210 pounds from a starting weight of 185 pounds. With his bulkier frame, summer reports started to come out that Collins was one of the most improved players on the team.

This was seen firsthand as the team traveled to the Bahamas, where Collins averaged 11 points and 5 rebounds. With improved confidence, Collins was set to have an impact in his sophomore season. Then just days before the start of the regular season, Daimion Collins’ father, Ben Collins passed away.

This was not only a big loss for Daimion but also for the team, seeing their teammate grieve. Given the time of his father’s passing, this significantly affected Collins this past season, both emotionally and physically. While the emotional impact is immeasurable, John Calipari admitted that Daimion had last 16 pounds.

“His dad passed away. His dad was his best friend, would have been the best man in his wedding,” Calipari said on Daimion’s relationship with his dad. “All of a sudden he loses 16 pounds and we’re playing other people.”

Given the situation, Collin’s decision to transfer and move closer to home to be with his family is commendable, and the Kentucky staff has been in full support throughout the entire process.

I believe I speak on behalf of the Big Blue Nation when I say good luck Daimion, go ball out!

As for Fredrick, he’s battled injuries during his time at Kentucky, including this past season, but appears to have opted for one more year and figures to play a significant role for another college program.

After transferring from Iowa, Fredrick sat out the 2021-2022 season at Kentucky due to a leg injury, but saw action in 27 games this past season, starting 15.

On the season, Fredrick averaged about 6.0 points per game while shooting 35% from the floor. He was a solid free-throw shooter in limited attempts, knocking down 22/24 from the line.

Coming into Kentucky known for his three-point shooting, Fredrick struggled in that area this past season, only knocking down 31.8% of his three-point attempts, significantly lower than the 46-47% Fredrick shot in two seasons at Iowa. Some of that could likely be due to injuries.

Best of luck to Fredrick as he looks to continue his basketball journey elsewhere!

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