John Calipari, Kentucky basketball get cooked for weak transfer portal class

Kentucky basketball may boast one of the top recruiting classes in 2023, but their transfer portal class stinks. What’s John Calipari’s game plan for fixing this one?

The Kentucky Wildcats basketball program is getting rejections left and right from top prospects across the country, and head coach John Calipari likely doesn’t know what to do with himself.

Is Kentucky’s blue blood prestige no longer enough to attract the nation’s best talent? Calipari got his answer in players’ rebuff after rebuff this spring.

The Wildcats’ transfer portal class rankings are in, and, they’re rightfully deemed the losers of this offseason’s transfer portal recruiting. The question isn’t how many prospects they’ve recruited, it’s how many prospects have snubbed them so far.

Kentucky’s failing grade for their anemic transfer portal class isn’t for a lack of effort. Actually, the Wildcats tried very, very hard to snatch up players from other schools, it’s just that those players didn’t want to join Calipari’s squad.

How many times can you spell out “rejection?” The Wildcats missed out on former San Diego State forward Keshad Johnson, who chose Arizona over Kentucky. They also were jilted by Michigan star Hunter Dickinson, who ended up picking Kansas. And the list goes on: T.J. Bamba, Zuby Ejiofor, Graham Ike, Harrison Ingram, Puff Johnson, Chris Ledlum, Tre White…

Kentucky basketball weak transfer portal class doesn’t bode well for 2023-24 season

Brad Crawford at 247sports wrote some scathing things on Kentucky’s pathetic transfer portal class this year:

They do have the No. 1 recruiting class in 2023 incoming, but this is a team in this offseason that has basically been at the mercy of Oscar Tshiebwe and Antonio Reeves. There’s so much riding on these two and they’ve not landed a single transfer as of yet. With those two guys, even if one opts to go the draft and not return, that’s an extremely big hit to the Kentucky program, especially this late into the portal.

Kentucky star Oscar Tshiebwe’s impressive showing at the NBA combine could mean Tshiebwe is committing to the Association and leaving his college in the dust.

Tshiebwe, a projected second-round pick, declared for the draft this past April, but he’s toying with the idea of a return and could stand to make more money on NIL deals entering his third year at Kentucky.

However, basing one’s transfer portal recruiting moves on Tshiebwe’s whims isn’t a very sound decision. Kentucky would obviously like to have their elite rim protector back in the fold, but no matter how many coaxing words the school whispers into his ear, it’s Tshiebwe’s decision at the end of the day.

He along with Antonio Reeves are total wildcards heading into the 2023-24 season; it goes without saying that losing both of them would deal Kentucky a catastrophic blow.

So what can John Calipari do now? Hope for the best. He clearly hasn’t prepared for the worst.

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