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May 28, 2024
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Kentucky basketball under Mark Pope: Transfer portal news, 2024 roster, recruits, targets by SEC experts

New Kentucky basketball coach Mark Pope continues to fill out his coaching staff, with his latest addition being Mark Fox, who spent last season as Georgetown’s Director of Student-Athlete Relations and NIL Partnerships. Fox joins Cody Fueger and Jason Hart as the three known assistants on Pope’s first Kentucky basketball coaching staff. They have a big job ahead of them, as the Wildcats have lost every key piece of last year’s roster following coach John Calipari’s departure after 15 seasons at the helm. Pope won a national championship as a player at Kentucky and was the head coach at BYU.

Kentucky has already lost five players to the college basketball transfer portal, along with several departures to the NBA. Pope has also struggled to retain Calipari’s Kentucky basketball recruiting class for the upcoming season, so he has his hands full as he tries to reconstruct the roster before the spring portal closes on May 1. 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 CatsPause.com 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’s final star from the 2023-24 roster is officially gone, as Reed Sheppard declared for the NBA draft following a standout freshman season with the Wildcats. He is a projected lottery pick, but there was still hope from Kentucky fans that he would return for a sophomore season under Pope. The SEC Rookie of the Year joins Justin Edwards and Rob Dillingham in the NBA Draft, while leading scorer Antonio Reeves and fourth-leading scorer Tre Mitchell are out of eligibility.

The college basketball transfer portal has claimed the remainder of Kentucky’s key players, as Adou Thiero, Aaron Bradshaw, Joey Hart, Zvonimir Ivisic and DJ Wagner are all headed elsewhere. Bradshaw (Ohio State), Hart (Ball State) and Ivisic (Arkansas) have all found new homes, while Thiero and Wagner are uncommitted. The Wildcats have also lost five of their six Kentucky basketball recruits for the 2024 class, with No. 73 overall prospect Travis Perry being the only holdover from Calipari’s final class. Join CatsPause to see the latest on all of Kentucky’s roster changes. 

Kentucky basketball news, roster Every player slated to return from Kentucky’s 2023-24 roster played sparingly last year, so Pope needs to add impact players quickly. One of his former signees at BYU, guard Collin Chandler, has committed to join Pope at Kentucky. The Wildcats still have one remaining player from Calipari’s 2024 recruiting class — point guard Travis Perry, the No. 73 player in the nation, per 247Sports.

Jordan Burks, Brennan Canada, Kareem Watkins, Walker Horn, Grant Derbyshire are the other players who, as of now, are expected to return, though none averaged more than 2.0 points per game in 2023-24. 

With at least eight scholarships available, Pope will actively look to add to the roster. For example, Pope reportedly has been in contact with TCU transfer JaKobe Coles, and he’ll be looking at all options remaining in the 2024 recruiting class and the portal to be competitive immediately in Lexington. 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.

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