Shaedon Sharpe To Declare For NBA Draft
One of the most unprecedented and polarizing recruiting situations finally comes to an end. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Shaedon Sharpe, former #1 player in the 2022 recruiting class, will enter his name into the NBA draft with the intentions to stay in the draft, meaning we will not see him at Kentucky next season.
Shaedon has been rumored to be interested in entering the NBA draft since the day he enrolled early and stepped foot on the University of Kentucky campus. And when coach John Calipari announced on Shaedon's behalf that he would not play in the 2021-22 season, but rather sit out to prepare for the 2022-23 season, the Big Blue Nation feared that they might never see the highest rated recruit since Nerlens Noel ever play in a Kentucky jersey.
That fear started to turn more into a reality as we learned how serious Shaedon's intentions were to test the draft waters. However, there was always the chance that he would not be ruled eligible for the draft since he was not a full year removed from high school, which the NBA requires for all NBA draft applicants. The loophole in this was that despite Shaedon still attending high school in December of 2021, he has proven that he technically graduated high school in May of 2021, now making him one full year removed from high school from when the NBA draft will take place.
It is an unfortunate situation for Kentucky Basketball, yet there is still so much to be optimistic about. The National Player of the Year, Oscar Tshiebwe, announced just yesterday on SportsCenter that he will return to Kentucky. A former top 15 prospect in Daimion Collins and a career 46% three point shooter in CJ Fredrick also announced their return to Kentucky. Couple that with two incoming 5 star freshmen in Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston, other potential returnees in Jacob Toppin, Sahvir Wheeler, Keion Brooks Jr, and Lance Ware, and a transfer portal full of veteran talent, Kentucky will still be able to form a roster capable of making a National Championship run.
There is no way to spin losing a player of Shaedon Sharpe's caliber. But you cannot fault John Calipari for taking a chance on a kid of his talent, and you cannot blame Shaedon for wanting to live out his NBA dream. Kentucky can now officially move on and go all in on players with Shaedon's roster position officially open. Players like Antonio Reeves, Leonard Miller, and Terrence Shannon Jr should be on the top of the list for names to look out for in the coming days.