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Kentucky Basketball Roster Tracker: The First Transfer Portal Addition

Jack PIlgrimby:Jack Pilgrim04/21/24

Mark Pope went all in on Amari Williams. After a successful first official visit weekend, the Kentucky head coach secured his first transfer portal commitment.

Originally from Great Britain, the 6-foot-10 big man has spent the last four years at Drexel, giving him one final season of eligibility. He used his 7-foot-5 wingspan to grab 7.9 rebounds and block 2.0 shots per game over the last three seasons, earning CAA Defensive Player of the Year honors following each campaign.

Williams received a warm welcome from the BBN during his weekend excursion to Lexington. The big man was in the paddock at Keeneland and joined Pope for a baseball game between the Cats and the Vols at Kentucky Proud Park. Even though Pope’s BYU program was not known for defense, On3’s Joe Tipton believes Williams is just what Kentucky needs.

“Though Pope’s BYU teams were offense-driven and known for three-point rainstorms and their use of five-out lineups, Williams is a stylistic foil in every way. Instead, he’s a plodding forward and ace defender who plays exclusively inside the arc. But physicality, toughness and defense were fatal flaws for Kentucky a year ago, especially up front, and Williams changes that equation.”

GONE (GRADUATED/NBA DRAFT)Antonio ReevesTre MitchellJustin EdwardsRob DillinghamUgonna OnyensoReed Sheppard

TRANSFER PORTALAdou Thiero*, Aaron Bradshaw*, Joey HartZvonimir IvisicDJ Wagner, Jordan Burks

* Also testing NBA Draft waters


IMPORTANT DATES

  • April 27: NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline (11:59 p.m. ET)
  • May 1: Transfer Portal Closes
  • May 12: NBA Draft Lottery
  • May 13-19: NBA Combine
  • May 29: NCAA early entrant withdrawal deadline (11:59 pm ET)
  • June 16: NBA Draft Early Entry Entrant Withdrawal Deadline (5 p.m. ET)
  • June 26: NBA Draft 2024 First Round
  • June 27: NBA Draft 2024 Second Round

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UPDATES

April 21: Amari Williams is a Wildcat

  • Defense was not a strength of Mark Pope’s teams at BYU. Defense is what his first significant transfer portal addition does best. Williams was a three-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year for Drexel.
  • Williams picked Kentucky over Mississippi State.
  • The 6-foot-10 big man made the decision after officially visiting Lexington this weekend.

April 20: Kentucky contacts Duke’s Sean Stewart

  • Kentucky joins Kansas State, Indiana, Arkansas, USC, Florida State, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Arizona State, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Baylor, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Cal, Stanford, South Carolina, Washington, Howard, UCSB and Harvard to express interest
  • Was the No. 12 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting cycle
  • The 6-9 freshman out of Windermere, Florida averaged 2.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in just 8.4 minutes per game this season for the Blue Devils

April 20: Drexel star Amari Williams begins official visit to Lexington

  • The 6-10, 265-pound forward will make the trip to Lexington from April 20-22
  • Kentucky is a finalist, joining St. John’s and Mississippi State
  • Mark Pope met with Williams on Thursday

April 19: Jordan Burks enters the transfer portal

  • Averaged 1.9 points and 1.7 rebounds in 7.2 minutes per outing as a freshman
  • Was a three-star recruit in high school out of Overtime Elite
  • The 6-8 forward only saw at least 10 minutes in seven of his 20 games played

April 19: Adou Thiero cuts list to five, includes Kentucky

  • Previously entering the portal on March 28, the 6-8 forward is now considering Kentucky, North Carolina, Pitt, Indiana and Arkansas

April 19: Kentucky makes final six for Villanova’s TJ Bamba

April 19: Tennessee transfer Jonas Aidoo hears from the Wildcats

April 18: Reed Sheppard declares or the NBA Draft

  • The star guard is the No. 7 overall prospect in ESPN’s list of best available draft prospects
  • He has decided to forgo the remainder of his college eligibility
  • “I’m going all-in,” Sheppard told ESPN. “The opportunity I have is great. I’ve gotten really good feedback showing where I can be in the draft. I had an unbelievable year at Kentucky. It was such a fun year. It’s not easy leaving the fans and the school I dreamed of playing at. I need to do what’s best for me, and that’s heading to the NBA.”

April 18: BYU’s Aly Khalifa commits to Louisville over Kentucky

  • The 6-11, 270-pound center out of Alexandria, Egypt announced three finalists on Sunday: Kentucky, Louisville and BYU
  • Khalifa averaged 5.7 points, 4.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game on 38.6/31.5/62.1 shooting splits
  • Originally entered portal on April 12 with a ‘do not contact’ tag, visited Louisville this week
  • He will be redshirting in 2023-24 while rehabbing a knee injury

April 18: Kentucky reaches out to Texas Tech’s Pop Isaacs

April 18: Former McDonald’s All-American Brandon Garrison plans visit to Lexington

April 17: Kentucky “will be involved” for Duke’s Jeremy Roach

  • Roach has appeared in 130 games throughout his career at Duke, including 108 starts. He was a team captain as a junior and senior.
  • He averaged 14 points, 3.3 assists, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 32.7 minutes per outing this season on 46.8/42.9/84.4 splits
  • Jeff Goodman reports Baylor is the favorite to land his commitment

April 17: Belmont’s Cade Tyson hears from Mark Pope

  • One of the top shooters in the portal
  • Averaged 16.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.6 APG on 49.3% FG, 46.5% 3PT this year
  • Tyson previously heard from Kentucky’s staff under John Calipari

April 16: Utah State’s Great Osobor contacted by Kentucky

  • On3’s Joe Tipton reports that Osobor has been in contact with the Wildcats
  • Checks in at 6-foot-8, 250 pounds. Averaged 17.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game in 2023-24
  • Was tabbed the Mountain West Player of the Year this past season

April 16: Oklahoma’s Otega Oweh hears from Pope

  • Pope reached out to Oweh this week, according to KSR+’s Jacob Polacheck
  • The 6-foot-4, 210-pound combo guard averaged 11.4 points and 3.8 rebounds, playing in 32 games for Oklahoma as a sophomore in 2023-24
  • He started in 28 games and averaged 24.8 minutes per contest
  • Oweh is set to visit Oregon on April 19 and Texas A&M on April 23

April 16: Kentucky contacts Dayton transfer Koby Brea

  • Pope reaches out to Brea on Tuesday evening, the combo guard tells Jacob Polacheck of KSR+.
  • 6-foot-5, 175-pound combo guard who averaged 11.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 33 games as a junior in 2023-24.
  • Started four games while averaging 29.1 minutes per outing. Shot 49.8 percent from deep on 201 attempts this past season.
  • Also heard from the likes of Kansas, UConn, Duke, Indiana, Arkansas, Louisville, and many more.

April 16: Pope reaches out to Stanford’s Andrej Stojakovic

  • The son of former NBA All-Star Peja Stojakovic has heard from Kentucky, he told KSR+’s Jacob Polacheck
  • Stojakovic averaged 7.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 40.9% from the field and 32.7% from three as a freshman at Stanford
  • He is currently scheduled to visit Cal this weekend

April 16: Collin Chandler commits to Kentucky

  • The 6-4 scorer is rated as the No. 34 overall prospect and No. 6 combo guard in the final 2022 On3 Player Rankings
  • Chandler spent two years on mission ahead of his college basketball debut in 2024-25
  • 2022 Utah Gatorade Player of the Year, averaged 21.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals as a senior in high school
  • Committed to BYU over Arizona, Gonzaga, Oregon, Stanford and Utah, among others

April 15: Ugonna Onyenso declares for the NBA Draft

  • “I’m ready to go to the next level,” Onyenso told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. “I’m not thinking about coming back to play college basketball. I’m 100% focused on the NBA.”
  • Onyenso averaged 3.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 19 minutes per contest this past season
  • The 7-foot center is the No. 47 overall prospect in ESPN’s list of best available draft prospects
  • He signed with an agent, but did not officially shut the door for a return to college, despite making it clear he has no interest in coming back to school

April 15: Zvonimir Ivisic transfers to Arkansas

  • “I made the lifetime decision to come to college for a few reasons,” Ivisic announced. “Main one’s to win a national championship and go to the NBA. Monumental part of that decision was Coach Cal, and no one does both of those at the same time than him. That’s why I am excited to announce that I am committing to Coach Cal and the Arkansas Razorbacks!”
  • Ivisic racked up 15 total appearances in Lexington, averaging 5.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 57.7% from the field and 37.5% from three.

April 15: Aaron Bradshaw commits to Ohio State

  • Bradshaw took an official visit to Columbus over the weekend and announced his commitment to open the week on Monday.
  • The former top-five recruit was the first portal entry for the Wildcats to commit elsewhere
  • He originally entered the transfer portal on April 8 while also testing the draft waters
  • The 7-foot-1 freshman averaged 4.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game this season while shooting 57.6% from the field.

April 15: DJ Wagner enters transfer portal

  • The 6-foot-3 former five-star recruit averaged 9.9 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per game for Kentucky this past season
  • 247Sports’ Travis Branham says Wagner will consider a return to Kentucky and meet with Mark Pope while also considering entering the 2024 NBA Draft

April 15: Northern Illinois transfer David Coit hears from the Wildcats

  • Kentucky joins TCU, Louisville, Utah, Washington State and Oregon State as schools to reach out, according to The Portal Report
  • Averaged 20.8 points, 3.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game
  • 40.7% FG, 33.7% 3PT, 88.5% FT

April 14: Kentucky schedules visit with Drexel transfer Amari Williams

  • Williams is a three-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-CAA member in 2023-24
  • He averaged 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.8 blocks in 22.9 minutes per game as a senior, shooting 51.7% from the field and 65.5% at the line
  • He is considered the 18th-best available player in the On3 Industry Transfer Portal Rankings and will have one year of eligibility remaining as a graduate transfer

April 14: Kentucky reaches out to Oklahoma State transfer Javon Small

  • Kansas, Miami, Indiana, Texas and Louisville are other schools with mutual interest, sources tell KSR
  • Averaged 15.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 4.1 APG, shooting 44% overall last season
  • Set to take official visit to Miami this week

April 12: BYU’s Jaxson Robinson becomes name to know for Kentucky

  • The 6-7 guard averaged a team-high 14.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 26.4 minutes per outing.
  • He shot 42.6 percent from the field, 35.4 percent from deep (6.9 attempts per game), and 90.8 percent from the free throw line.
  • KSR has learned Robinson is a potential portal addition with Kentucky seen as the likely destination should he enter, following Pope to Lexington

April 9: Rob Dillingham enters the NBA Draft, forgoes remaining eligibility

  • Dillingham’s time in Lexington comes to a close with a season average of 15.2 points, 3.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game while shooting 47.5% from the field and 44.4% from three.
  • He is currently the No. 4 overall prospect in ESPN’s list of best-available players in the 2024 draft

April 8: Joey Hart enters the transfer portal

  • The 6-5 sharpshooter out of Linton, IN plans to transfer as a redshirt freshman after playing just ten minutes in his debut season as a Wildcat.
  • He scored three points in Lexington — a made 3-pointer in Kentucky’s win over Marshall back on November 24.

April 4: Justin Edwards enters the NBA Draft

  • The former five-star wing becomes the first player to forgo his time at Kentucky and enter the NBA Draft
  • He is currently rated as the No. 30 overall prospect in ESPN’s list of best available players in the draft pool, good for third on the team behind Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard

March 28: Adou Thiero enters transfer portal, will test NBA Draft Waters

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2024-05-23