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Kentucky has tabbed BYU coach Mark Pope to succeed John Calipari, the school announced Friday. Pope, the former Kentucky star who played under Rick Pitino at Kentucky from 1994-96, is returning to Lexington after spending the last five seasons at BYU. Pope will replace Calipari, who spent the last 15 seasons with the Wildcats before taking the vacant job at Arkansas earlier this week.

Calipari officially parted ways with Kentucky earlier this week in a video posted to social media. Less than 24 hours later, he officially became the next coach at Arkansas. He replaces Eric Musselman, who departed for the vacant job at USC.

Calipari’s departure will impact Kentucky’s roster and incoming recruiting class. The Wildcats have the No. 2 class in the 2024 cycle by 247Sports, but it’s already taken a hit. Four-star forward Karter Knox announced his decommitment on Monday, and five-star center Jayden Quaintance and four-star center Somto Cyril requested a release from their National Letter of Intent days later.

Pope will have significant work to do upon his official arrival. Star freshmen Justin Edwards and Rob Dillingham declared for the NBA Draft, and key reserves Aaron Bradshaw and Adou Thiero entered the transfer portal. Under Calipari, Kentucky had the No. 2 recruiting class in the 2024 cycle. Four-star forward Billy Richmond, four-star guard Boogie Fland and four-star guard Travis Perry have yet to make their decision known.

CBS Sports is tracking the status of the Kentucky roster and recruiting class in real time. Here’s where every current UK player and commit currently stand. 

Kentucky underclassmen

Reed Sheppard

GP: 33 | GS: 5 | PPG: 12.5 | RPG: 4.1

Sheppard was named CBS Sports Freshman of the Year after putting up one of the most efficient stat lines in the country. Sheppard made only five starts in 33 games but had an impact whenever he stepped onto the court. Sheppard finished the season shooting 53.6% from the floor, 51.1% on 3-pointers (on 4.4 attempts), and 83.1% from the charity stripe. Sheppard finished five steals shy (82) of breaking the single-season record set by Rajon Rondo during the 2004-05 season. He projects as a lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

D.J. Wagner

GP: 29 | GS: 28 | PPG: 9.9 | RPG: 1.9

Wagner ranked as the No. 6 player coming out of high school and was one of the prized recruits from his class. The Wagner family has deep ties to Calipari, as D.J.’s dad, Dajuan Wagner, played for Calipari when he was the coach at Memphis.

Zvonimir Ivišić

GP: 15 | GS: 0 | PPG: 5.5 | RPG: 3.3

While Ivišić didn’t play a ton during his freshman season, he definitely made an impact when he played. Hours after he was ruled eligible by the NCAA on Jan. 20, Ivišić recorded 13 points, five rebounds, and a pair of assists in his collegiate debut.

Ugonna Onyenso

GP: 24 | GS: 14 | PPG: 3.6 | RPG: 4.8

The top shot-blocker on last season’s Kentucky team averaged 18.6 minutes per night. Onyenso made 14 starts after playing less than seven minutes as a freshman the year before.

Jordan Burks

GP: 20 | GS: 0 | PPG: 1.9 | RPG: 1.6

Burks is a former three-star recruit from the 2023 recruiting cycle. He appeared in 20 games this season and scored a career-high 13 points in a win over Vanderbilt.

Brennan Canada

GP: 5 | GS: 0 | PPG: 0 | RPG: 0.4

Canada appeared in 25 total games over his five-year career with Kentucky. He made five appearances this season.

Kareem Watkins

GP: 6 | GS: 1 | PPG: 0 | RPG: 0.2

Watkins has appeared in 20 games over the last four seasons with Kentucky. He made six appearances this season.

Walker Horn

GP: 4 | GS: 0 | PPG: 0 | RPG: 0

Horn has made eight appearances over the last two seasons for Kentucky.

Grant Darbyshire

GP: 4 | GS: 0 | PPG: 0 | RPG: 0

Darbyshire made four appearances for Kentucky this season.

Kentucky players not expected to return

Rob Dillingham (Declared for NBA Draft)

GP: 32 | GS: 1 | PPG: 15.2 | RPG: 2.9 

The top-ranked player in CBS Sports’ NBA Draft prospect rankings is turning pro, he announced on Tuesday. Dillingham was named SEC 6th Man of the Year after putting up big numbers in his first season at Kentucky. The 6-foot-3 guard made only a single start but was one of Kentucky’s best players the entire season. Dillingham is a crafty guard with a quick burst that can get to the rim whenever he pleases. Dillingham has received buzz over the last few months as a potential No. 1 overall pick. 

Aaron Bradshaw (In transfer portal)

GP: 26 | GS: 10 | PPG: 4.9 | RPG: 3.3

Bradshaw was the first player from Kentucky’s top-ranked 2023 recruiting class to enter his name in the transfer portal. Bradshaw missed the start of the season due to injury and appeared for the first time on Dec. 2 against UNC Wilmington. Bradshaw was the No. 5 recruit coming out of high school. He should have plenty of suitors for his services in the transfer portal.

Adou Thiero (In transfer portal)

GP: 25 | GS: 19 | PPG: 7.2 | RPG: 5

Thiero entered his name into the transfer portal last month and is the No. 53 player available in David Cobb’s transfer portal rankings. Thiero saw a larger role during his second season in Lexington, making 19 starts and 25 appearances while averaging career-highs in almost every statistical category.

Joey Hart (In transfer portal)

GP: 7 | GS: 0 | PPG: 0.4 | RPG: 0

Hart will enter the transfer portal after playing sparingly as a freshman. The former three-star recruit committed to Kentucky out of high school over UCF, Ball State, Drake and Northwestern among others.

Justin Edwards (Declared for NBA Draft)

GP: 32 | GS: 30 | PPG: 8.8 | RPG: 3.4

Edwards was the first Kentucky player to declare for the draft and decided to turn pro days before Calipari left the program. The former highly-touted prospect showed flashes of his five-star billing throughout the season. Edwards projects as someone who will either get drafted late in the first round or early in the second round of this summer’s draft. Edwards is a perfect swing for the fences prospect.

Antonio Reeves (Out of eligibility)

GP: 33 | GS: 33 | PPG: 20.2 | RPG: 4.2

The leading scorer on Kentucky last season is out of eligibility. Reeves transferred to Kentucky in 2022 after spending the first three seasons at Illinois State. Reeves never entered his name into the transfer portal last summer but reportedly took summer classes at Illinois State, where he began his career. He finished his college career with a career-high in points and rebounds.

Tre Mitchell (Out of eligibility)

GP: 27 | GS: 24 | PPG: 10.7 | RPG: 7.2

Like Reeves, Mitchell is out of eligibility. Mitchell transferred to Kentucky for his final college season after stops at UMass, Texas, and West Virginia. Mitchell provided a valuable veteran presence for a young roster and started 24 out of the 27 games he appeared in.

Kentucky’s 2024 recruiting class

The new Kentucky coach will assume the task of keeping the No. 2 recruiting class in the 2024 cycle by 247Sports together. Kentucky’s incoming class includes five-star center Jayden Quaintance, four-star guard Billy Richmond, four-star guard Boogie Fland, four-star center Somto Cyril, and four-star guard Travis Perry.

Quaintance, Fland, Cyril, and Perry signed their National Letter of Intent to come to Kentucky, while Richmond has yet to sign.

Four-star forward Karter Knox committed to Kentucky last month, but on Monday Knox’s father told 247Sports that his son will reopen his recruitment because of Calipari’s exit.

Under Calipari, Kentucky finished with a top-five recruiting class every cycle since 247Sports started tracking team rankings in 2010. The Wildcats landed the No. 1 recruiting class in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2020, and 2023 under his watch.

Here is a look at Kentucky’s roster and incoming recruiting class with 247Sports rankings.

No. 22 Billy Richmond

Richmond committed to Kentucky on Dec. 21 over Alabama, LSU, and Memphis. The Richmond family has deep ties to Calipari. Richmond’s father, who is also named Billy Richmond, played for Calipari at Memphis from 2002 to 2004. Richmond is considered an athletic lefty wing with the chance to make an immediate impact when he steps onto campus this fall.

No. 26 Boogie Fland

The McDonald’s All-American is one of the best combo guards in the country and ranked only behind Rutgers signee Dylan Harper for the top player at the position. Fland committed to Kentucky over Alabama, UConn, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, and St. John’s. Fland was Kentucky’s second commit in the 2024 cycle.

No. 73 Travis Perry

Perry was Kentucky’s lone signee from the Bluegrass State. He ranked as the No. 6 point guard in the 2024 cycle and committed to Kentucky over Alabama, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, and Western Kentucky. Perry is the all-time leading scorer in Kentucky high school boys’ basketball history.

Recruits no longer committed

No. 8 Jayden Quaintance 

The highest-ranked signee from Kentucky’s incoming recruiting class is unique because of his age. Quaintance won’t turn 17 years old until July, making him ineligible for the 2025 NBA Draft. NBA rules state that a player must be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft, which opens the door for him to play two seasons in college. Quaintance committed to Kentucky over Florida, Missouri, and Ohio State. On Wednesday, Quaintance’s father, Haminn, told 247Sports that his son would be requesting his release from his NIL to Kentucky. Haminn recently posted on social media that their family would be “riding with the big dog (Calipari) until the wheels fall off.” Calipari will likely attempt to lure in Quaintance to come to Arkansas.

No. 20 Karter Knox

The brother of former Kentucky one-and-done Kevin Knox II was the most recent player to pledge their commitment to Calipari in this class. Knox committed to Kentucky on March 9 over Louisville, USF, and a return to Overtime Elite. He was the highest-ranked high school player on the board available after former Indiana signee Liam McNeeley requested a release from his NLI. Knox’s brother, Kobe, is a current player at USF. With Knox reopening his recruitment, he is bound to have plenty of suitors for his services.

No. 46 Somto Cyril 

The first commit of Kentucky’s 2024 recruiting class picked the Wildcats over Cincinnati, Florida, Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. Cyril ranks as the No. 10 center in his class. Cyril was granted his release from his NLI and de-committed from Kentucky on Wednesday.



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