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Adding transfers shows how John Calipari adapting to changing culture

Davion Mintz (Creighton Photo)


Did you ever think you would see a Kentucky basketball roster with multiple transfers like the Cats are going to have next year?

I know my answer would be no.

Kentucky has already added Creighton point guard Davion Mintz, a graduate transfer who will be eligible, along with Richmond transfer Jacob Toppin, a 6-8 foward who likely will need to redshirt and then have three years of eligibility left.

The big name transfer is center Olivier Sarr of Wake Forest. He’s played three years at Wake Forest and is not a graduate transfer. He will need a NCAA wavier to be eligible.

Kentucky is also in the final four for Evansville forward DeAndre Williams, who could pick his transfer destination in the next few days. If he picks UK, he too likely would have to sit out and redshirt.

ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg, a former college head coach, says coach John Calipari is merely adapting to the way the college game is changing and is going to keep changing.

“The culture of our game is changing and one thing about John is that he will adapt or be ahead of the curve most of the time,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg says if the transfer rule changes to where transfers will be eligible immediately, then Calipari will just adapt and likely be in the conversation for every star player that decides to change schools.

“John doesn’t believe in the rule but it will definitely be an advantage to them if the rule does change because he will be in the conversation for every kid that transfers,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg said UK will lose some players to transfer, but it won’t be big contributors.

“You change with the times and try to be ahead of the curve,” Greenberg said. “You have to have the ability to make adjustments quickly. John is always very patient in terms of who to offer and when. He tries to figure out who will be the right fit.

“He has always had the ability to make adjustments at the right moments in recruiting and he’s doing that again with the flexibility he’s showing now by adding transfers.”



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  1. Coach needs more than just Sarr even if Sarr gets the waiver. I know he was holding out hope that Nick would stay another year and was sure EJ would, but we should have a minimum of 4 bigs on any given team. Between practice, foul trouble, getting tired, and God forbid, getting hurt, you need a backup at every position. If there is a next season, we could very well be starting 2 guards, 2 wings, and an undersized power forward with no depth. We might fare better if there is not a next season this year.

  2. I hope Sarr is able to play immediately, he, IMO, is the best skilled big inbound due to these pending transfers. I have my doubts about him and a couple others ever wearing the blue and white this year. The NCAA may not allow, and the Covid19 threat could nix the season altogether. If football is able to go, basketball should be on. These grad transfers will be a regular thing at UK in the future.

  3. The word is now that Cal has back off on Williams from Evanville due to complicates background. I assume he’s going after Maker that is if he’s really serious going to the college route

  4. Not Maker. That family has a grudge against Coach.

  5. If they had a grudge against Cal I don’t t think he would have KY one of two schools that he’s interested.

    1. Remember this kid’s older brother? Cal was coach of the team for the World Games and his brother got cut from the team. He ended up going to Oregon. His family was really upset about him not making the team. I think those feelings are still there, but I could be wron.

  6. Check out Mac McClung on ESPN. 6’2″ shooting guard leaving Georgetown after averaging 15 points a game and shooting 39% from 3. He got hurt in February and didn’t play again. He will file a petition to play this year. Adding him to the backcourt with Mintz would be a solid move. Of course, that would mean less PT for some overrated 5 star NBA wannabe.

    1. I doubt it, if McClung chose UK it would probably mean less playing time for him with all the talent UK has coming in. Besides while 15 points a game is impressive, his 3 pt shooting is not.

  7. 2020 Quickley 0.428 Year 2
    2020 Sestina 0.407 Transfer
    2019 Washington 0.423 Year 2
    2019 Green 0.423 Year 2
    2018 Gilgeous-Alexander 0.404 Year 1
    2018 Gabriel 0.396 Year 2

    UK’s 3 point shooters with 39% or higher for the last 3 seasons. Only 1 freshman among this list, and 2 players per year. 39% shooting is good from the arc, and not a common level of achievement by UK players, especially in the freshman season.

  8. We are talking about McClung here. His 3pt FG% in 2018-19 per ESPN was 27.7% and 32.3% in 2019-20. He did get hurt early in the season last year. That slowed him. The 39% was his FG%. McClung is a great player, yes indeed, but he would see a lot of bench time at UK with the talent Kentucky has coming in, JMO. IMO a great 3 point shooter is in the 45% range or higher. Not many around college basketball. Again 39% is not bad, but not great either. I don’t think he hit 39% from the three point line either from the stats I have seen. I know one thing, he can sure get up on a dunk.

  9. Why recruit a guard we don’t need it were already abundit with guards for next year. We need another big man and who knows Williams may choose the cats tomorrow. They say cats are still in contention for him. I don’t know we’re Kyle Tucker got his report at that Cal has back off on him. It seems funny he’s the only resource that mention it.

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