One of the biggest stories in the Kentucky Wildcats recruiting sphere has been that of Hunter Dickinson.
The former Michigan Wolverines center is widely considered the best big man in the transfer portal and has had no shortage of interest.
With that said, Dickinson’s recruitment has finally come to an end, as he just committed to Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday.
Just a few weeks ago, Dickinson’s recruitment was considered to be a three-horse race between Georgetown, Kansas, and Maryland. Since then, John Calipari flew to Michigan to meet with him and Dickinson took an official visit to Lexington. However, it wasn’t enough.
Of course, Kentucky pursued Dickinson as they lie in wait for Oscar Tshiebwe’s decision, which is not anticipated for weeks. With Dickinson’s commitment to Kansas, the door is still open for Tshiebwe to return.
Based on the play styles and offensive strengths of the incoming players, the Wildcats would be better suited with a player that is able to create his own without needing the ball, as Tshiebwe can. With the supporting frontcourt pieces, next season’s Kentucky team could be better prepared to scheme around his flaws.
However, if he does not return, Kentucky will be taking a considerable downgrade - as a piece is still needed for depth - wherever they turn and will rely heavily on the upside of Ugonna Onyenso and Aaron Bradshaw.
Kentucky can’t afford to lose out on both players, so all efforts should be in recruiting Oscar back for one last season.
While the Cats missed on this transfer, they also lost one of their own today to the transfer portal.
Right after Dickinson picked Kansas, news broke that junior forward Lance Ware was entering the transfer portal.
Ware announces the news on Twitter.
“My time at Kentucky has been a journey that has shaped me not only as a basketball player but as a man,” Ware said in a statement. I’ve really been through it all — COVID, the loss of my brother Terrence Clarke, amazing charity work, big wins, electric atmospheres in Rupp Arena and during every step Big Blue Nation has been behind me. Your support has easily been the best part of the journey.
“However, with every journey, there comes a time when we need to make an important decision on which direction to turn towards next.”
Head coach John Calipari also released a statement on Twitter, adding the Ware is welcome back if he chooses to stay in Lexington.
“Lance has gotten better every year. He’s an exceptional leader and as good a teammate as I’ve ever coached,” Calipari said. “He knows he is welcome to return if he doesn’t find the opportunity he’s looking for.”
Originally a four-star recruit in the 2020 class, Ware signed with Kentucky while holding offers from Oregon, Louisville, Michigan, Ohio State, Maryland, and Miami among others.
This past season, the New Jersey product appeared in 28 games, averaging 2.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 9.9 minutes per game.
Best of luck to Ware in his new ventures!