2021-22 Kentucky Basketball is going to look very different in the coming season. Head Coach John Calipari and the Wildcats did not deliver their best season last year, finishing with a record of 9-16 (8-9). It was a definite surprise to see the type of play that we saw from a Calipari-coached team, but look no further because Kentucky Basketball will look a lot different than a year ago. A couple of changes to the coaching staff, and John Calipari’s ability to recruit will get the Wildcats right back on track in 2021-22.
Coaching Staff Changes for 2021-22 Kentucky Basketball Season
The departure of two Kentucky coaches from the university created a hole that Coach Cal needed to fill. Joel Justus left Kentucky for Arizona State and Tony Barbee took the Central Michigan Head Coach position. Calipari was able to land two great replacements on the coaching staff, both of whom are from Illinois under Brad Underwood. Orlando Antigua will come to Kentucky and reunite with Calipari as an associate, while Ron Coleman joins the staff as an assistant. Both are making their way to Lexington after a rough season by the Wildcats.
Both newcomers will have a great roster to come to with Coach Cal getting his hands on three great transfers. There is light at the end of the tunnel for 2021-22 Kentucky Basketball. All starting with some changes on the staff. Next up, players.
John Calipari Gets His Hands in Transfer Portal
The first big player that Calipari landed via transfer was Oscar Tshiebwe, who transferred to Kentucky after leaving the West Virginia program back in January. A huge grab for the Wildcat program with Tshiebwe was a top recruit in the 2019 class. He originally was offered by Coach Cal and was recruited by Orlando Antigua over in Champaign. Now, Calipari gets a guy he wanted back in 2019, and Orlando Antigua gets to coach a kid he recruited at Illinois. Tshiebwe is a massive presence down low, the 6-9 big man averaged 8.5 PPG and 7.8 RPG in 2020-21.
Another nice transfer grab for Calipari was Davidson guard, Kellan Grady. Grady is exactly what Kentucky needed, which is outside shooting. Kentucky struggled majorly from deep last season and now with the addition of a 47% shooter from the field, and 38% shooter from deep, 2021-22 Kentucky Basketball is looking great. Grady averaged 17 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 2.4 APG last season at Davidson. This is not the only shooter that has landed in Lexington this off-season.
Lastly, Cal got another big addition for the outside in 2021-22. Iowa transfer, CJ Fredrick committed to BBN last week. Head Coach John Calipari is prioritizing shooting with some of his transfer pickups. Fredrick averaged 7.5 PPG while shooting 47% from deep a season ago.
One thing that can be seen differently this upcoming season for Kentucky is their shooting. It was a team need from a season ago and Calipari got it.
2021 Kentucky Recruiting Class- TyTy Washington Still a Possibility?
As it stands right now, the 2021-22 Kentucky Basketball roster is looking like what we usually see from a Kentucky team. And now, Kentucky seems to have a mixture of great experience and great young talent coming in. This is a recipe for a potential run in the NCAA Tournament. At the moment Kentucky’s 2021 recruiting class is ranked 30th in the country with 5-star Daimion Collins and 4-star Bryce Hopkins committed to the Wildcats. Two forwards to add to the front-court for Calipari.
One situation that is still brewing for Kentucky is top-25 recruit TyTy Washington. Over the last couple of days, there has been major talk about a potential landing spot for Washington which could be Kentucky. He is set to make his college announcement on Saturday, May 15th. Washington is listed as a point guard but can play off the ball just as well. He is a great talent who can create for not only himself but for his teammates as well.
Things are looking up for the 2021-22 Kentucky Basketball season with massive improvements via the Transfer Portal, and the recruiting class that is coming in for John Calipari. Watch out for the Wildcats in 2021-22.
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