Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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

Mark Pope became Kentucky’s 23rd men’s head basketball coach after John Calipari accepted the head position at Arkansas. Pope, who spent his last five seasons as the head coach at BYU, is no stranger to Lexington since he was a captain of the 1996 Kentucky national champion team. Pope got his first head coaching opportunity at Utah Valley before leaving for BYU. The BYU Cougars had at least 19 wins in all five of his seasons there while making an appearance in the AP Top 25 in four of those five years. What can Kentucky basketball fans expect in his return to Lexington? What effect will his presence have on the Kentucky basketball players?

When Calipari left, the entire Kentucky basketball roster left with him. All of Kentucky’s scholarship players from the 2023-24 season either entered the college basketball transfer portal, NBA Draft or were out of eligibility. Pope had to work quickly to shape a roster, which is still under construction for the 2024-25 Kentucky season. Calipari had a 76.9 win percentage over 15 seasons at Kentucky, so Kentucky fans’ expectations will remain high. 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 

Kentucky has officially lost Joey Hart, a 6-foot-5 guard who entered the transfer portal after last season. Hart was a finalist for Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in his senior season and has transferred back to his home state, playing for Ball State University. Hart only appeared in seven games as a freshman at Kentucky, but could have seen an expanded role with the totally revamped roster at Kentucky.

Reed Sheppard, the reigning SEC Rookie of the Year, highlights the four Kentucky basketball players who have declared for the 2024 NBA Draft. Ugonna Onyenso, Rob Dillingham and Justin Edwards have also declared. Antonio Reeves, the team’s leading scorer, is out of eligibility and will also go pro. Pope hasn’t had any time to ease into returning to his alma mater as he continues to try to fill Kentucky’s roster for a program with lofty expectations every season. Kentucky has made the NCAA Tournament the last three seasons and 29 of the last 33 years and those expectations won’t change for fans with Pope taking over. Join CatsPause to see the latest on all of Kentucky’s roster changes

Kentucky basketball news, roster

Kentucky hosted 6-foot-9 Andrew Carr after the forward played his last two seasons at Wake Forest after spending his first two years at Delaware. Carr averaged 13.5 points and 6.8 rebounds last season. He shot 52.6% from the floor and can also stretch the floor, averaging a made 3-pointer while shooting 37.1% from beyond the arc last season. The Wildcats continue to revamp their entire roster and Carr would be a strong addition as a five-year senior.

Carr ended his Wake Forest career with 31 points against Georgia in the NIT Tournament. He was battle-tested at Wake Forest against the ACC and those skills would certainly transfer over to the SEC if he commits to Kentucky. Carr is also drawing interest from Texas Tech among others, so his transfer portal updates will be one to monitor for Kentucky fans. 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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