2024-25 transfer tracker: Kentucky's potential options (2024)

  • 2024-25 transfer tracker: Kentucky's potential options (1)

    Jeff Borzello, ESPN Staff WriterApr 19, 2024, 01:15 PM ET


    • Basketball recruiting insider.
    • Joined ESPN in 2014.
    • Graduate of University of Delaware.

Transfer portal season has become the busiest two months of the college basketball calendar. Entire rosters fall apart and get rebuilt in mere weeks, with some teams needing to go into the portal for 10 or 11 players. Coaching staffs spend two or three years recruiting high school players, and now, they spend two or three weeks -- sometimes less -- recruiting transfers.

There will be upward of 2,000 players in the portal by the time it closes for undergraduate students on May 1. The vast majority will find a new home in a similar timeframe.

It's a lot to digest.

Just like the coaching carousel tracker, we're going to have a constantly updated transfer portal tracker this offseason. Find all of the latest intel and buzz on the available players in the portal. School lists, visit plans, target boards -- all of the movement will be discussed here.

Keep track of ESPN's ranking of the top 100 transfers here.

2024-25 transfer tracker: Kentucky's potential options (2)

April 19

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Duke loses seventh player to the portal

Sean Stewart, a former top-20 recruit, announced he's entering the transfer portal Friday. Stewart came out of high school with a reputation as an elite rebounder but failed to carve out a consistent role in Durham. He averaged 2.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 33 games off the bench.

Outlook: Stewart follows Jeremy Roach, Mark Mitchell, TJ Power, Jaylen Blakes, Christian Reeves and Jaden Schutt, while Kyle Filipowski and Jared McCain left for the NBA and Ryan Young is out of eligibility. Tyrese Proctor and Caleb Foster are the lone returnees for Jon Scheyer who is, however, bringing in a six-man recruiting class ranked No. 1 in the country.

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Top-50 transfer Adou Thiero down to five schools

The 6-foot-8 Kentucky forward has cut his list to five schools, sources told ESPN: Pitt, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana and Kentucky. Thiero started 19 games this season for the Wildcats, bringing energy and explosiveness to the frontcourt. He averaged 7.2 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Outlook: The projected first-round pick in ESPN's 2025 mock draft entered the portal before John Calipari left Lexington for Arkansas, so it's interesting to see the Razorbacks make his final list. And Kentucky fans will be pleased to see a potential return to Lexington is still possible. Pitt has quietly had some buzz for a couple weeks due to Thiero being from the Pittsburgh suburbs.

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Drexel's Amari Williams down to three schools, visiting Kentucky

Williams has cut his list to St. John's, Kentucky and Mississippi State, his agent told ESPN. The 6-10 big man is one of the best interior defenders in the portal, winning CAA Defensive Player of the Year three times and earning first-team All-CAA honors this past season. He averaged 12.2 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Outlook: Williams will take his final visit to Kentucky this weekend, and the Wildcats could badly use an experienced post defender to anchor their frontcourt. They've made a strong push in recent days under new coach Mark Pope, but St. John's remains involved, and Williams would be a good fit at Mississippi State given Chris Jans' defensive history.

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April 18

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Chucky Hepburn becomes latest Wisconsin departure

Shortly after AJ Storr committed to Kansas, Wisconsin took another hit: Three-year starter Chucky Hepburn is transferring. Hepburn started 103 games for Greg Gard, averaging 9.2 points and 3.9 assists this past season. He put up 12.2 points and shot 40.5% from 3-point range in 2022-23.

Outlook: Aside from Hepburn's next destination, the story here is Wisconsin losing another key contributor to the portal. In addition to Storr and Hepburn, the Badgers have also lost Connor Essegian, who saw a diminished role this past season after a delayed start due to injury but averaged 11.7 points as a freshman in 2022-23. Gard hasn't landed a player from the portal yet -- and one of the Badgers' top targets, Frankie Fidler, was a high school teammate of Hepburn's.

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Kansas lands AJ Storr

Storr, the No. 3 player in ESPN's transfer rankings, committed on Thursday. He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection after averaging 16.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in leading Wisconsin to the conference tournament title game and a 5-seed in the NCAA tournament.

Outlook: Bill Self has added some much-needed playmaking and shot-making -- a major concern for the Jayhawks during the 2023-24 campaign. Storr is the third perimeter addition, following South Dakota State's Zeke Mayo, the Summit League Player of the Year, and Florida's Riley Kugel, a mercurial but talented wing with NBA potential. The Jayhawks are also still in the mix for Alabama transfer Rylan Griffen.

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April 17

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UConn finds its Donovan Clingan replacement

The Huskies clearly needed a big man this cycle in the portal, and they landed Michigan Wolverines transfer Tarris Reed Jr. on Wednesday. Reed visited Storrs this past weekend and ended his recruitment shortly after leaving. He's a former ESPN 100 prospect who averaged 9.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks this past season.

Outlook: Dan Hurley essentially needs to rebuild the starting lineup that won the Huskies their second consecutive national title. Tristen Newton and Cam Spencer are out of eligibility, while Stephon Castle and Clingan could be NBA draft lottery picks. UConn is targeting a big man and at least one perimeter player. With Reed now in the fold, Hurley can turn toward guards and wings.

God got me...I ain't stressin 😮‍💨 #Committed pic.twitter.com/dwrbVsOFGz

— Tarris"Big Hoss" Reed Jr. (@TarrisReedJr) April 17, 2024

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April 16

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Jeremy Roach announces portal intentions

A big-name point guard just went on the market. Duke senior Jeremy Roach announced Tuesday he plans to enter the transfer portal and the NBA draft, which suddenly makes available one of the best and most experienced point guards in the country.

Outlook: Roach started 108 games over four seasons with the Blue Devils, earning third-team All-ACC honors this past season. He averaged career-highs across the board, putting up 14.0 points, 3.3 assists and shooting 42.9% from 3-point range. This move has been speculated for several weeks, with a long list of schools linked as potential landing spots: Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown, Arkansas, Baylor, Ole Miss and more.

Read more: Jeremy Roach to enter draft, 5th Duke player to enter portal

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The No. 1 transfer is off the board: Oumar Ballo commits to Indiana

After initially setting multiple visits, the Arizona transfer didn't even get off Indiana's campus before ending his recruitment and telling ESPN he's committing to the Hoosiers. A two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection, the No. 1 transfer has been one of the dominant big men in the country under Tommy Lloyd. He averaged 12.9 points and 10.1 rebounds this season.

Outlook: How Mike Woodson uses Malik Reneau and Ballo together will be interesting, given both players prefer to operate around the basket. It's also worth taking a quick look at where the other programs in pursuit of Ballo will turn. North Carolina could look at Danny Wolf and Jonas Aidoo, while Louisville is battling Kentucky for Aly Khalifa. Arkansas just landed Zvonimir Ivisic.

Read more: Oumar Ballo, top player in transfer portal, picks Indiana

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Horizon League POY Trey Townsend sets visits

Townsend, who helped lead Oakland to a first-round NCAA tournament win over Kentucky with 17 points and 12 rebounds, has set the rest of his visit schedule, according to his agent George Langberg of GSL Sports Group. Townsend is currently on campus at Arizona, then will visit Ohio State on Thursday and Friday and finish up with a trip to Louisville this weekend. He also recently visited Michigan.

Outlook: Townsend is one of the most productive mid-major transfers in the portal. He averaged 17.3 points and 8.1 rebounds this season and was able to perform at a high level in big games. The 6-foot-6 power forward went for 28 points against Xavier, 19 points and 10 rebounds against Illinois, 30 points and 13 rebounds against NC State and also had 38 points in the Horizon tournament title game.

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April 15

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The first Lexington-to-Fayetteville move

Kentucky transfer Zvonimir Ivisic announced Monday he's committing to Arkansas, following John Calipari to the Razorbacks. Ivisic is the first player to officially follow Calipari to Fayetteville, but he likely won't be the last.

Outlook: Ivisic, a 7-foot-2 center from Croatia, has an incredibly high ceiling due to his offensive skill set. He can make shots from the perimeter, run the floor and is an adept shot-blocker at the other end. He had 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals in 16 minutes off the bench in his first college game against Georgia, and averaged 5.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 15 games as a freshman.

Read more: Zvonimir Ivisic to transfer from Kentucky to Arkansas

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Texas starters entering portal

After a weekend that saw Rodney Terry land three players from the portal -- Indiana State exports Julian Larry and Jayson Kent, and Arkansas transfer Tramon Mark -- Monday brought the fallout. Tyrese Hunter and Dillon Mitchell, two Texas starters, are planning to enter the transfer portal.

Outlook: Hunter has started 106 games in three college seasons at Texas and Iowa State and had the best offensive season of his career in 2023-24, putting up 11.1 points and 4.1 assists. Mitchell, meanwhile, is a versatile frontcourt player who took major strides as a sophom*ore, averaging 9.6 points and 7.5 rebounds. The news comes on the heels of top-50 recruit Cam Scott requesting a release from his letter of intent to Texas to reopen his recruitment.

Read more: Texas loses starters Tyrese Hunter, Dillon Mitchell to transfer portal

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D.J. Wagner enters portal

Wagner, a former top-five recruit, was a household name in the high school ranks who originally chose Kentucky over Louisville after an intense recruiting process between the two schools. But the 6-foot-4 New Jersey native had an uneven freshman season: putting up big numbers during the first half then finishing with single-digit scoring output in 10 of his final 13 games. Averaged 9.9 points and 3.3 assists.

Outlook: It's unclear where Wagner will look to continue his college career. He still has NBA hype, projected as a second-round pick if he opted to enter this year's draft. He could follow former Kentucky coach John Calipari to Arkansas but he's expected to have an open recruitment. Despite his up-and-down freshman campaign, he's one of the most dynamic guards in the portal.

Read more: Kentucky freshman D.J. Wagner entering transfer portal

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Aaron Bradshaw commits to Ohio State

The former top-10 recruit had a delayed start to his Kentucky career due to a foot injury suffered last spring, but eventually made an impact once on the floor 00 including a double-double against Penn in his second game. Didn't have a consistent role down the stretch of the season though, barely playing in the SEC and NCAA tournaments. Averaged 4.9 points and 3.3 rebounds.

Outlook: Despite the middling numbers, Bradshaw's ceiling makes him an intriguing addition for new head coach Jake Diebler. He can run the floor, he has some skill with the ball in his hands and he can finish around the rim and block shots. What does this mean for the other teams in the mix for Bradshaw? North Carolina was hoping to get him on campus and now the Tar Heels might have to turn to Yale transfer Danny Wolf.

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Indiana landed Rice, looking for others in portal

Mike Woodson is wasting no time rebuilding his roster after a down year in Bloomington. The Hoosiers already landed Washington State's Myles Rice, one of the best point guards in the portal.

Outlook: They're also expected to host Stanford's Kanaan Carlyle for a visit this week. Carlyle is a former top-50 recruit capable of explosive performances. Neither Rice nor Carlyle is a knockdown shooter, but Indiana is also pursuing Connor Hickman (Bradley) and Ryan Conwell (Indiana State) to fill that role. Up front, the top target is No. 1 overall transfer Oumar Ballo. The Arizona big man is expected to visit Bloomington this week, and Indiana is thought to be in a pretty good spot. Should Ballo leave his visit without committing, the Hoosiers could turn to Drexel's Amari Williams, who also visits later in the week. Ballo is the far superior offensive player, but Williams is a three-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year.

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Michigan looks to return to past glory with Dusty May hire

Take a look at the numbers behind Michigan's hire of former Florida Atlantic basketball coach Dusty May.

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Dusty May has Michigan in the mix for several top targets

May didn't have a completely empty cupboard in Ann Arbor when he took over for Juwan Howard, and George Washington III added to the returnees when he opted to remove his name from the transfer portal and stay at Michigan. But the former Florida Atlantic coach is looking to build a competitive roster in year one, and he's taking some big swings in the portal.

Outlook: At the top of the target list: two of his former FAU players in Johnell Davis -- arguably the top perimeter player in the portal -- and center Vladislav Goldin. Houston was also pursuing Davis, but the Cougars landed Milos Uzan over the weekend; is Kelvin Sampson's program still in play? Michigan is also in the mix for Yale's Danny Wolf, a first-team All-Ivy selection this past season. While the Wolverines are likely the leader for both Goldin and Wolf as things stand, the first 7-foot center to commit might send the other elsewhere -- or perhaps they battle it out once they get to campus. Oakland's Trey Townsend, who posted dominant numbers against high-major competition this past season, was set to visit Ann Arbor on Sunday, too. On the perimeter, Michigan is perceived as the leader for Auburn's transfer Tre Donaldson. Ohio State's Roddy Gayle Jr. is expected to visit Ann Arbor soon, too. Keep an eye on another Auburn transfer, Aden Holloway. His sister, Mila Holloway, is signed to play basketball at Michigan next season.

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North Carolina's big man pursuit

It's clear that Hubert Davis and the Tar Heels want a true 5-man from the portal this spring. Armando Bacot has used up his eligibility, James Okonkwo barely played and already hit the portal, and Jalen Washington is the lone option remaining for that position.

Outlook: Former top-10 prospect Aaron Bradshaw was expected to visit Ohio State this past weekend, but UNC is heavily in the mix and has him near or at the top of the target list.The Tar Heels are also battling a handful of schools for Oumar Ballo. Will Ballo get through his visits to Indiana, Louisville and Kansas State, though? Rutgers' Clifford Omoruyi, one of the best defensive players in the country, has had communication with North Carolina, as has the aforementioned Danny Wolf. Could the Tar Heels make a run at Tennessee's Jonas Aidoo, too? Aidoo, who entered the portal late last week, is a Durham native.

2024-25 transfer tracker: Kentucky's potential options (2024)


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