Saturday, May 18, 2024

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

For a team that didn’t win a March Madness game, Kentucky Wildcats basketball has been in the news a lot lately. The Wildcats had disappointing SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament runs, the departure of John Calipari, the hiring of Mark Pope as new head coach, and several Kentucky basketball transfer portal updates surrounding the program. Many of the top 2024 Kentucky basketball recruits who originally committed to Lexington, have since re-opened their commitments following Calipari’s departure, and that’s had a seismic effect on the Wildcats. Kentucky basketball’s Class of 2024 is now ranked 95th in the nation, per 247Sports, and is 15th among 16 SEC programs.

The spring college basketball transfer portal is a 44-day window that closes on May 1, so Pope has plenty of work to do in a short amount of time to replenish the 2024 Kentucky basketball roster. It seems as everyday there’s either a current Kentucky basketball player entering the transfer portal, or a Kentucky basketball prospect who is now considering other schools. 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 50% 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 

The 2024 Kentucky basketball roster took a hit last Thursday when reigning SEC Rookie of the Year Reed Sheppard said he is entering the NBA Draft. With the combination of early departures for the draft, those who entered the transfer portal, and players who ran out of eligibility, Kentucky is projected to lose its 10 leading scorers from last year’s team. The top returning player is Jordan Burks (1.9 ppg), as UK will have just 1.4% of its scoring from last year back on the 2024-25 roster.

That doesn’t even consider those who committed to UK under Calipari and have since decommitted. The latest of those prospects is four-star Billy Richmond, who just reopened his recruitment on Wednesday. His departure leaves Pope’s incoming class down to just a single recruit — in-state product Travis Perry, who is the No. 6 PG in the nation and the No. 73 overall prospect.

It’s not all bad news for Pope, as he was able to flip Collin Chandler from his former school in BYU to his new one in Kentucky. Chandler is No. 33 in the 247Sports Class of 2024 rankings, and he was the highest-rated recruit in BYU history. But the combo guard will now venture outside his home state of Utah and is poised for a sizable role in Lexington, depending on future Kentucky basketball roster moves. Join CatsPause to see the latest on all of Kentucky’s roster changes

Kentucky basketball news, roster

Every player slated to return from Kentucky’s 2023-24 roster played sparingly last year, so Pope needs to add impact players quickly. One of his former signees at BYU, guard Collin Chandler, has committed to join Pope at Kentucky. The Wildcats still have one remaining player from Calipari’s 2024 recruiting class — point guard Travis Perry, the No. 73 player in the nation, per 247Sports.

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. 

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 50% 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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