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Antonio Reeves Announces Return To Kentucky

As if it wasn't already official, it is now. Antonio Reeves, one of the Wildcat's top scorers from last season and arguably at most points of the year the best scoring option, has announced that he will come back to Kentucky for one more season.

After working out for a handful of professional basketball teams this summer such as the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, and the Milwaukee Bucks, the people around Reeves must have not heard what they were wanting to hear as the plan was to go pro after one grad-season in Lexington. He was clearly one of the best players in college basketball last season, and a top-twenty scorer the season before at Illinois State, but just because you're elite in college doesn't necessarily mean you're ready to take the next step. That stuff doesn't correlate evenly, and we should know this already as we returned the NPOY just last offseason. Antonio is a proven scorer, but the rest of his game such as his defensive and his distribution of the offense needs some more repetition. He now has the next 12 months to build his skillset.

With a loaded recruiting class already arrived and ready to go on campus, Antonio Reeves is (officially) returning to a lot of new faces. I'm not the least bit worried about that because the reigning SEC Sixth Man of the Year has proven that he can come off the bench and still provide at a high value for this program, even if it doesn't include starting. After only starting 14 times in 34 total games, the "flamethrower" was able to attribute over 14 points a game for the Cats.

While coming back is big and that last point is nice and all, I don't think he's coming back for an 'unplanned second year' just to come off the bench again. I'd tab this as a back-against-the-wall draft-stock year where he'll build his brand and aim for his stock to rise into a guaranteed second round pick or higher for the summer of 2024. Unless he's pushing 33 minutes a game or greater, I think he needs to be a priority to be one of the first five to be out on the court, leading this young group.

I know another year at Kentucky wasn't originally in the books for Antonio Reeves, but he seemed to completely enjoy his time here last year and I know he'll be just as excited and even more hungry for more time within this program. Despite looking at other colleges and and possibly transferring, can you blame him? If the money is elsewhere why wouldn't you atleast listen? If you could go make more at another company for the same thing that you do now, you would too. It's easy to point fingers, especially in a new world of college basketball that we're not used to, but at the end of the day, we still managed to get our guy back and it's a big deal. Just because he looked elsewhere doesn't mean he doesn't want to be at Kentucky. I'm sure he's still very motivated and excited to be a Wildcat once again.

This was the right decision and he can catapult into one of the fan-favorites in no time if he strives to be. He can take the Jacob Toppin role that we saw since the opening night of Big Blue Madness last October. From this moment on, he needs to be the captain of this young roster. And Arkansas, keep your eyes peeled.


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