Kentucky basketball is in the midst of a tough stretch — both on and off the court.
When Kentucky has been on the court, they’ve fallen far behind expectations and don’t even have a top-25 record since 2020. The Wildcats missed the tournament in 2021, were bounced by St. Peter’s in 2022 and failed to reach the Sweet Sixteen in 2023. Yikes.
Overall Record in the 2020s— College Basketball Report (@CBKReport) May 16, 2023
1. Houston 93-14
2. Gonzaga 90-11
3. Kansas 83-23
4. UCLA 80-24
5. Arizona 78-20*
6. Baylor 78-20*
7. San Diego State 78-21
8. Alabama 76-27
9. Arkansas 75-30
10. Duke 72-27
11. Tennessee 70-28
12. Texas 70-29
13. UConn 69-26
Off the court, Kentucky is really struggling to fill out their roster heading into next season. While the Wildcats have far and away the best recruiting class coming in, they only have seven scholarship players currently on the roster. And it’s not like Kentucky lost all of these top players to the NBA Draft.
Cason Wallace will likely be a NBA Lottery pick, but he’s the only Wildcat from last year’s team currently projected in either round of the draft. Chris Livingston and Oscar Tshiebwe continue to work out for teams, but it’s difficult to predict either being selected come June.
Antonio Reeves is still undecided on his future, too, with even much less of a chance of being drafted.
CJ Fredrick, Daimion Collins and Lance Ware all recently hit the transfer portal and though they weren’t huge impact players for Kentucky last season, their depth and veteran leadership was critical to the structure of John Calipari’s roster.
It doesn’t help that Kentucky hasn’t landed a single player transfer portal so far this offseason. The Wildcats struck out on both Hunter Dickinson (Michigan) and Keshad Johnson (San Diego State. Both would have addressed major holes potentially left by Tshiebwe and Livingston, which is an even bigger blow should either leave for the NBA.
Kentucky will now have to search hard in the transfer portal for post-NBA Combine players, though any player they land will not likely be as premium as Dickinson or Johnson. They’ll also have to hope and pray at least two of their three pending players decide to return.
Fans are excited about this new recruiting class, but it wouldn’t be the worst scenario if Livingston, Reeves and Tshiebwe all returned to give Kentucky a healthy mix of young talent with savvy veterans. That seems like a pipe dream at this point, but when it comes to recruiting we’ve all learned to not count out Calipari and his staff.
Tweet of the Day
LOL Chuck pic.twitter.com/syOtDe9kja— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 22, 2023
Hard to beat the NBA on TNT crew.
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Mark Stoops absolutely owning the portal.
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Alabama and Georgia don’t make things any easier.
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Brooks appears to be back and very healthy.
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They simply just want it more.
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No surprise here.
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Looks like the season is over for Boston and LA.