Making Sense Of Kentuckys Offseason
Updated: Jun 22, 2021
It's the first week of June, players started moving in on campus last weekend and the roster is weeding itself out to the crew we'll have running with us for the next nine months.
Right now we currently have 11 scholarship players, just waiting for the twelfth to be a Davion Mintz return if that was to happen. John Calipari has already said there won't be any more additions to the team, as he "likes where this team is" with or without Davion Mintz. Of course, that was in no way a knock and if Davion was to return he would get all the reps he could ever want, but Cal was just more so saying he's confident in his this teams ability where it's at already. Having Mintz would be the cherry on top.
This spring was a do-or-die period for Coach Cal to come knocking back on college basketballs door, reminding everyone that he still runs the show. After a 9-16 season, fans were desperate for answers and it seemed to be that the transfer portal is becoming that answer. The landscape of CBB is drastically changing from the last decade plus of getting one-and-dones and leading the way with those, to now reaping the benefits of the one time transfer option where players don't have to sit a full season at another school.
He (Calipari) went out and got three of the top 15 highly touted transfers on the market to go along with the nations 7th overall recruiting class. The roster currently sits at:
Kellan Grady - Four seasons at Davidson
CJ Fredrick- Two seasons at Iowa
Sahvir Wheeler - Two seasons at Georgia
Jacob Toppin (Junior)
Dontaie Allen (Red Shirt Sophomore)
Oscar Tshiebwe (Junior)
Lance Ware (Sophomore)
Keion Brooks (Junior)
Daimion Collins: Five-star forward from Texas
Bryce Hopkins: Four-star forward from Chicago
TyTy Washington: Five-star point guard from Arizona
* Leaving this little asterisk spot open for a hopeful Davion Mintz placement at a later date *
Roster movement wasn't the only thing to get stirred up this offseason, as the coaching staff had some major changes too. Tony Barbee accepted his first head coaching position at Central Michigan, and Joel Justus essentially got the boot kick out the door for a long anticipated wait for Orlando Antigua to make his return. Antigua played a vital role in the programs success when he was here the first time (2009-14), recruiting the like of Nerlens Noel, Karl-Anthony Towns, Terrence Jones, Archie Goodwin, Trey Lyles and many more to Lexington. Cal brought in his reinforcements this offseason to basically guarantee what happened last season won't happen again, with one of his most trusted and respected coaching assistants he's had in his entire career. Antigua was with him at Memphis, followed him to Kentucky for his first five seasons and now comes for another stint with the Hall of Famer.
Ron "Chin" Coleman was the next addition to the staff. Chin is one of the hottest up-and-coming recruiters in the nation, who's credited a lot of the success that Illinois has reached in the last few years, and the two of them go hand in hand like a dog and its bone. They thrive together and create the ultimate duo in the recruiting scene. They both leave Illinois at the same time, after arriving together back in 2017.
Program turnaround is nothing new around these streets, but every offseason it still always seems to be like flipping the pillow over and having so many new names and faces to remember for the next season. Kentucky is transformed and rejuvenated, ready to let the country know that they're back.
Duke, here we come. The countdown to November 9th has begun.