Yesterday was... well... not the best day for Kentucky Basketball.
As most expected, Chris Livingston and Oscar Tshiebwe opted to stay in the NBA Draft, although most mock drafts do not project either to be selected. There was some hope the latter would return to school, but reports came out earlier in the day yesterday indicating that Oscar wanted to give the professional ranks a shot.
On the other hand, while we now have some closure with Livingston and Tshiebwe, the waiting game with Antonio Reeves continues.
Reeves, who arguably could be viewed as the most important player in the stay/go limbo, opted to withdraw from the NBA Draft, but a return to Kentucky is up in the air.
Antonio Reeves will consider a return to Kentucky, planning to meet with John Calipari in the coming days. NIL and role at the forefront of those conversations.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) May 31, 2023
Will go from there regarding other potential options. https://t.co/6uPZWfBr3S
The buzz around Reeves, namely the above report by KSR’s Jack Pilgrim, seems to be that he has valid concerns about fit/usage on next year’s roster with DJ Wagner and Rob Dillingham coming to Kentucky, along with concerns about NIL and branding.
If Kentucky can iron out these issues, it seems there is a decent chance Reeves returns to Kentucky, which would be welcome news in the Big Blue Nation during an offseason that has seemingly just been gut punch after gut punch.
By the end of the season, Reeves was one of Kentucky’s top players and was the best perimeter scoring option. He fills a needed role on next year’s squad as a veteran guy with a solid offensive skill set who can knock down threes and provide a scoring punch.
Memphis and Illinois are viewed as schools that could potentially try to lure Reeves away, so the waiting game isn’t quite yet over. Hopefully, John Calipari and Kentucky can smooth things over with Reeves, address his concerns, and bring him back to Lexington.
Despite all the concerns, if Kentucky can bring back Reeves and land a big man in the portal (maybe Arthur Kaluma), this roster is in pretty good shape.
If Reeves leaves, however, that may very well be the biggest gut punch of the whole offseason.
Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker and Field of 68’s Jeff Goodman put out a mildly (maybe more) concerning report about one of Kentucky’s incoming freshmen last night.
There has been some (unconfirmed) chatter about Aaron Bradshaw having an unspecified (in type or severity) foot injury — but I also know he was out on the floor working out before Klutch’s pro day last week, after I’d heard the injury buzz. So ♂️. https://t.co/8fk6FT98am— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) June 1, 2023
Kentucky fans are kind of scarred by injury reports, as we’ve seen how some linger for months, but this is definitely not great news.
Hopefully, this isn’t anything major, but definitely something to keep an eye on.
Tweet of the Day
With June 1 just hours away, Kentucky appears to be losing a total of nine players from last season, has just five freshmen and two sophomores committed to the roster and in the last two offseasons (to this point) has landed exactly one player (from Illinois State) in the portal.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) May 31, 2023
That... is not ideal.
Overall, not a great day for a UK Basketball fan.
There will be some tough competition in Lexington.
A strong take by Cole Cubelic.
Some big matchups in the first couple weeks.
Not a great start to the offseason in Boston if that happens.
The Finals matchup few, if any, saw coming.
Detroit could have its new coach.