Story updated on May 31
Tuesday was a busy day for the 2022-23 Kentucky men’s basketball roster. John Calipari has reportedly hired K.T. Turner from Oklahoma to be the third assistant coach and Jacob Toppin announced he is returning to Kentucky for another season.
It took some time after the season-ending loss in the NCAA Tournament but Kentucky’s roster movement finally started in April.
Dontaie Allen (Western Kentucky) and Bryce Hopkins (Providence) hit the transfer portal. Meanwhile, TyTy Washington declared for the NBA Draft, forgoing remaining eligibility, and Shaedon Sharpe followed him. Kellan Grady and Davion Mintz are also out due to graduation, leaving scholarships to be filled for next season.
Keion Brooks hit the transfer portal just before the deadline in late April, leaving another open spot on Kentucky’s roster.
In early May, the Wildcats signed their final high school player for the 2022 class in three-star guard Adou Thiero.
In addition to Thiero, Kentucky signed two freshmen (Cason Wallace, Chris Livingston) five-star players. Illinois State transfer Antonio Reeves is the lone addition, at the moment, from the transfer portal. That said, Kentucky’s roster looks to be complete when it comes to scholarship players.
Below is what the roster looks like today (scholarship players only).
The reigning national player of the year will anchor the interior for the Wildcats again next season. Oscar Tshiebwe is the first national player of the year to return to college basketball since Tyler Hansbrough at North Carolina in 2008-09. The Tar Heels won the national championship that season. Big Blue Nation is hoping for the same result with Tshiebwe.
2021-22: 17.4 points, 15.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.6 blocks
Sahvir Wheeler tallied 6.9 assists per game as a junior at Kentucky, the second straight season the 5-foot-9 point guard led the Southeastern Conference in that category. Wheeler, a Bob Cousy Award finalist last season, will provide experience as Kentucky’s primary ball-handler again in 2022-23.
2021-22: 10.1 points, 6.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds
The sharpshooter from Iowa missed the entire 2021-22 season after suffering a hamstring injury in November. The 6-foot-3 guard also missed most of the off-season last year recovering from surgery on his leg.
Fredrick is a career 46.6 percent three-point shooter and averaged 8.8 points per game in two seasons at Iowa. The UK guard confirmed his return to the roster in a video posted to social media on April 16.
2020-21 (Iowa): 7.5 points, 47.4% FG, 47.4% 3PT
Daimion Collins wasn’t able to carve out a consistent role with the Wildcats as a freshman but the upside that made him a five-star recruit out of high school is still there. The 6-foot-9 forward had moments where he flashed his potential as a freshman, most notably a 10-point, 6-rebound effort in nine minutes off the bench at Alabama in February.
Collins’ length and athleticism at the 4 or 5 position, depending on what Kentucky needs game to game, can make an impact next season. But most importantly, he needs consistent minutes to tap into that potential. Expect an increased role as a sophomore.
2021-22: 2.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, 85.7% FT (21 attempts)
The 6-foot-9 forward will help Kentucky’s interior depth again this season. As a sophomore, Ware carved out a role as Kentucky’s plug-and-play guy whenever he was needed behind Oscar Tshiebwe.
Ware is the perfect long-term piece that good college basketball teams need in their program. He will play a key reserve role again as a junior.
2021-22: 1.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 6.3 minutes per game
Jacob Toppin took a step forward as a junior at Kentucky, playing the role of game-changer off the bench. The 6-foot-9 forward adds a lot of value to Kentucky with his ability to guard 1-4 on the defensive end.
Toppin flashed his potential as a junior, raising his field goal percentage to 55-percent. Toppin could see a significant increase in his role as another three-year player in Calipari’s system.
2021-22: 6.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 17.7 minutes per game
The five-star combo guard from Texas will add a lot to John Calipari’s roster in 2022-23, both offensively and defensively. The 6-foot-4 Wallace can take on the challenge of guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter player every night, a luxury Calipari will love adding to his roster.
Wallace projects to be one of the better two-way players entering college basketball next season.
2021-22 (high school): 19.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists
Livington possesses a strong 6-foot-6 frame that will help him immediately in college basketball. The McDonald’s All-American is a strong finisher near the rim but he can also grab a rebound and lead the break.
Livingston’s size is a challenge for opponents, especially when he gets downhill in transition. He is comfortable in catch-and-shoot opportunities from three-point range when his feet are set.
2021-22 (high school): 23.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 3.9 steals, 2.3 blocks
Adou Thiero, a 2022 guard, committed and signed with Kentucky on Sunday, May 8. He is the third member of Kentucky’s 2022 signing class via the high school route.
Thiero has a connection to Kentucky coach John Calipari. His father, Almany Thiero, played for Calipari at Memphis.
2021-22 (high school): 23.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 3.9 steals, 2.3 blocks, shot 52% from the field and 77% from the free-throw line.
Transfer Portal Additions
Antonio Reeves (Illinois State)
At the moment, Antonio Reeves is the only transfer portal piece John Calipari has added to the 2022-23 roster. The Illinois State transfer was the first Redbird player to average 20 points per game in a season since 2001. A second-team Missouri Valley selection, Reeves reached double figures in 31 of 33 games as a junior, including 18 games of 20 or more.
The 6-foot-6 wing is a versatile backcourt addition to the roster. He significantly improved every season at Illinois State, where he made a significant jump in scoring each season (7.2 freshman, 12.4 sophomore, 20.1 junior).
2021-22 (Illinois State): 20.1 points (46.9% FG, 39.0% 3PT FG), 3.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals
Transferring from Kentucky
Keion Brooks Jr.
Keion Brooks was the first Kentucky player to declare for the NBA Draft this off-season. The 6-foot-7 forward has been a consistent piece of the program since arriving as a member of the 2019 recruiting class.
As a junior, Brooks averaged 10.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 24 minutes of action. He scored a career-high 27 points in Kentucky’s win at Kansas in January.
Jeff Goodman of Stadium reported Friday, April 29 that Brooks will explore his options in the transfer portal.
2021-22: 10.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 24.5 MPG
The former four-star recruit never consistently found minutes in his freshman season at Kentucky. After playing double-figure minutes in four of the first five games of the season, Hopkins’ role diminished as the season progressed.
In Kentucky’s shorthanded win vs. LSU in February, Hopkins scored 13 points off the bench in the second half. Despite the performance, he played less than ten minutes the rest of the season.
Hopkins committed to Providence on April 25.
2021-22: 2.1 points, 1.4 rebounds
The former Mr. Kentucky Basketball winner lasted three seasons in Lexington, where he struggled to find a consistent role with John Calipari.
Allen seemed close to a breakout during his redshirt freshman season, scoring 23 on two occasions vs. Mississippi State. But his performance vs. the Bulldogs was never matched vs. other opponents on Kentucky’s schedule.
The Falmouth, Kentucky, native transferred to Western Kentucky on April 13.
2021-22: 2.2 points, 1.2 rebounds, 18.9% 3PT
*This roster rundown will be updated as players make official announcements and transfer pieces are added*