[caption id="attachment_348076" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
De'Vion Harmon is one of the top available transfers who was thought to be in contention to possibly join Kentucky. However, a few days later, the communication has fizzled.
Harmon's father, Deon, told KSR last week on Friday
that his son De'Vion, who recently announced he was transferring out of Oklahoma, had a conversation with Kentucky assistant coach Jai Lucas with the hope that a meeting with head coach John Calipari would take place either on Friday or later that weekend. KSR has now learned that a potential interaction between Calipari and Harmon never formulated and that neither De'Vion nor his father have heard from the Wildcats coaching staff since that initial chat.
Standing as a 6-foot-2 point guard, De'Vion Harmon improved drastically from his freshman to sophomore seasons at Oklahoma and has since been tabbed as a premier target across the country. His father tells KSR that the four main schools they're having the best discussions with and leaning towards are, at this moment, Texas, BYU, Oregon, and Arkansas.
He also said Oklahoma was still in the mix, but not nearly as much as the other four schools listed. The Sooners added former Duke guard Jordan Goldwire through the transfer portal on Monday, and now have a loaded backcourt for next season under recently introduced head coach Porter Moser.
"We haven't heard anything from Kentucky since the last time I contacted them about expressing if they have true interest to see if we can get something set up," Deon Harmon told KSR on Tuesday. "They were talking about trying to set something this week. The first week they talked about setting stuff up that never panned out. I reached out to them to see if they have true interest because at the end of the day we're trying to make a decision within the next week or so. I wouldn't be surprised if De'Vion made his decision tomorrow, but if he did, [Kentucky] wouldn't be included because we didn't have any fruitful discussions.
"I reached out to [Kentucky] and also asked De'Vion if he had any more conversations and he said no. So at that point, we figure that he's not top of their list. At this point, it's not going anywhere. We're going on and developing relationships, so they would be behind pace with everybody else."
Deon Harmon explained that if new teams don't try and reach out this week, they won't be dealt with if they reach out down the road. He and De'Vion would rather not have the situation drawn out. If schools aren't talking with them now, that's the only sign they need.
"We take the lack of communication as just not interested," Deon Harmon said. "We're not really reaching out to anybody in terms of asking them if they're interested.
"I like the idea of [De'Vion] playing for Kentucky and Cal and getting a lot of feedback, but they haven't reached out any more than they did with the first few texts. So that lets me know that Cal is not interested as Jai [Lucas] is in creating the relationship
But why would Kentucky show an initial interest only to back off shortly after? Perhaps another player is already in the sights for the Kentucky coaching staff and continuing conversations with De'Vion could "scare" away another point guard. Deon Harmon understands that could be the case.
"They may have gotten to a point with somebody else before they even got started with us and didn't feel the need to muddy the waters," Harmon added. "At the end of the day, you could lose a good point guard with who you've already developed a relationship if they find out that you're looking at another point guard."
Kentucky was actually the second school to reach out De'Vion Harmon once his name was officially in the portal, but the communication has essentially been cut since then.
De'Vion Harmon does intend to enter his name into the NBA Draft process, although he has not officially done so at this time. Deon Harmon told KSR that his son would use the draft process to help provide feedback on what De'Vion needs to improve the most for his next season in college before taking the leap to the NBA.
"The only feedback we're looking for is what does he need to do to play his way on the draft board," Deon Harmon said. "Right now he's not on the draft board. Now if he gets to work out in front of teams--he thrives in that scenario, just getting in, grinding and working out, and showing people how hard he works--there's a possibility that his draft stock could go up and he could actually get in the second round. We're aware of it. We know they're interested, but right now, he's not one they're thinking about drafting this year. He's more on their boards for next year from the little feedback we've received.
"If he gets in front of [NBA teams], anything could happen, but we're not betting that he'll move up high enough to where anybody wants to guarantee him something in the second round. If he moves up high in the second round he may actually decide to stay in the draft but again that's really unlikely and we knew that going in. This is more for feedback."
Deon Harmon explained that the plan all along has been for De'Vion to enroll in summer classes this June. The deadline for players to withdraw their names from the NBA Draft process is set for July 19, and De'Vion will still go through with that process, but it's more so to look at what De'Vion needs to improve upon the most so he'll be ready to go for the 2022 Draft.