Saturday, May 25, 2024

Kentucky basketball under Mark Pope: Transfer portal news, 2024 roster, recruits, targets by SEC insiders

The 2024-25 Kentucky basketball roster will look drastically different after John Calipari left for Arkansas on April 10. A quick Kentucky basketball coaching search landed former BYU coach and Kentucky alum Mark Pope in Lexington as the replacement. Roster construction has changed drastically in college basketball recently as the college basketball transfer portal and NIL opportunities play into player decisions. There’s been an exodus of current players and 2024 Kentucky basketball recruits, but one big decision looms from star Reed Sheppard.

Pope will have the ability to plug roster holes quickly as he works the Kentucky basketball transfer portal and high school ranks to fill out the roster for next season and beyond. If you love the Wildcats, or just want the latest roster updates and college basketball transfer portal news, be sure to see what the proven team of insiders are saying at CatsPause, the 247Sports affiliate that covers Kentucky.

The team of insiders at are providing up-to-the-minute scoop on the latest intel surrounding the Kentucky basketball coaching transition and roster changes. CatsPause has built a solid reputation over its 20+ years covering the Wildcats, and has deep-rooted sources inside and around the Kentucky athletic department. And right now, CatsPause is offering 60% off the first year of an annual subscriptions*, so now is the time to sign up.

The team at CatsPause has full coverage of who is coming and who is going on the Kentucky basketball roster. Head to CatsPause now to see all the insider info.

Kentucky basketball roster departures 

Antonio Reeves and Tre Mitchell, the first and fourth leading scorers for Kentucky in 2023-24, respectively, are both graduating. Rob Dillingham, Justin Edwards and Ugonna Onyenso, meanwhile, have all declared for the 2024 NBA Draft. Dillingham is viewed as the top NBA prospect of that group and could go as high as the top few picks in June.

D.J. Wagner, a former elite recruit, would have seen an expanded role in Lexington, but he’s put his name in the portal. Adou Thiero and Joey Hart are also in the portal, though none of them have committed elsewhere, leaving the door open that they could return to Lexington. Big men Aaron Bradshaw (Ohio State) and Zvonimir Ivisic (Arkansas) have already found new homes, hurting Kentucky’s frontcourt depth.

There have been four departures from Kentucky’s 2024 basketball recruiting class, as Jayden Quaintance, Karter Knox, Boogie Fland and Somto Cyril, all top-50 players in the class according to 247Sports, are headed elsewhere. Join CatsPause to see the latest on all of Kentucky’s roster changes

Kentucky basketball news, roster

With eight of the nine leading scorers from last season heading out, all eyes turn to guard Reed Sheppard. The rising sophomore was Kentucky’s third-leading scorer last season at 12.5 points per game. He shot an astounding 52.1% from 3-point range, a mark that led the nation. He’s a projected lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, so there’s a high probability that he’ll go that route. 

However, Sheppard’s family is close with Pope and he might be the one hire that could keep him in Lexington longer. Sheppard is also a Kentucky native who could cash in on NIL opportunities, so his decision will be a critical one for the 2024 roster. 

Jordan Burks, Brennan Canada, Kareem Watkins, Walker Horn, Grant Derbyshire are the other players who, as of now, are expected to return, though none averaged more than 2.0 points per game in 2023-24. Billy Richmond and Travis Perry, the No. 22 and No. 73 players in the nation, according to 247Sports, remain in the 2024 recruiting class for the time being. 

With at least eight scholarships available, Pope will actively look to add to the roster. For example, Pope reportedly has been in contact with TCU transfer JaKobe Coles, and he’ll be looking at all options remaining in the 2024 recruiting class and the portal to be competitive immediately in Lexington. Join CatsPause to get the latest on all of Kentucky’s roster additions

How to get insider Kentucky basketball roster updates

Pope could also be bringing at least one big-time BYU player with him, so be sure to join CatsPause to see who that is and get the rest of the insider roster news

Who are the top names Kentucky basketball is pursuing under coach Mark Pope, and what former BYU player could land in Lexington? Go to CatsPause to see their insider information, all from a team of reporters with years of experience covering the Wildcats, and find out. And reminder, CatsPause is offering 60% off the first year of an annual VIP membership*, so subscribe now before it’s too late.

*Terms: This offer is only available for new members who sign up for a CatsPause annual subscription. After the first year, subscription will re-bill on an annual basis at the regular rate. reserves the right to alter or cancel this promotion at any time. Please write with any questions you may have.

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