2022 Record: 22-12 (12-6)
Head Coach: John Calipari (Career Record 790-251) (Kentucky Record 387-113)
PG: DJ Wagner
SG: Rob Dillingham
SF: Antonio Reeves (14.4 Pts, 2.1 Reb, 1.1 Ast)
PF: Justin Edwards
C: Tre Mitchell (West Virginia 11.7 Pts, 5.5 Reb, 1.8 Ast)
6: PF Aaron Bradshaw (Injured)
7: C Ugonna Onyenso (2.5 Pts, 2.6 Reb, 0.1 Ast) (Injured)
8: SG Reed Sheppard
9: SG Adou Thiero (2.3 Pts, 1.9 Reb, 0.4 Ast)
10: C Zvonimir Ivisic
11: SF Jordan Burks
12: SG Joey Hart
Kentucky’s most notable returner is Antonio Reeves who flirted with possibly entering the transfer portal, but opted to return to school. As a 5th year senior, Reeves is going to have to be the primary scoring guard and leader on a team with 8 freshman. Reeves averaged over 14PPG shooting 42% from the floor and 40% from three. Other returners for the Wildcats are Ugonna Onyenso who is injured currently and should be able to come back in late November. Onyenso should breakout this season with the available minutes he’ll have at the center spot. Adou Thiero also returns for Kentucky this upcoming season. He had a decent year in the limited time he’s played and could excel on the defensive end of the floor this season.
The lone transfer that Kentucky brought in this offseason was West Virginia transfer Tre Mitchell. He’s entering his 5th season of college basketball after previously spending time at UMass and Texas in addition to West Virginia. He’s another player along with Reeves that brings the much needed experience to a team full of freshman. Mitchell is a unique player who at 6-9 225lbs can score in a variety of ways including from beyond the arc where he shot 36% from three this past season. Kentucky also signed freshman big men Aaron Bradshaw and Zvonimir Ivisic this offseason. Bradshaw is a 5 star who has a unique skillset and could play either the 3, 4, or 5 at 7-1. Zvonimir Ivisic is another unique player who has a quality skillset for his 7-2 frame and should see some early minutes as a freshman this season.
Kentucky also signed freshman Reed Sheppard who is an elite three point shooter ranked as the #43 prospect in the country. Reed Sheppard is a local in state recruit and his dad also played for Kentucky. The Wildcats also signed 2 players late in the process. SF Jordan Burks, a former Ole Miss commit, had a breakout weekend at the Peach Jam. He is ranked as the #178 player in the 2023 class, but he can develop into an elite player. Joey Hart is a former UCF commit who is more of a project for Kentucky this season. He’ll be lower on the depth chart this year but has the opportunity to develop into a quality player during his Wildcat career.
The Wildcats also signed freshman PG DJ Wagner, SG Rob Dillingham, and SF Justin Edwards this offseason. Dillingham who played for OTE is an elite scorer who was ranked as the #16 recruit in the country in the class of 2023. DJ Wagner was the #1 player in the class for awhile, but ended up closing as the #6 player in the class. Justin Edwards who could have a season similar to Brandon Miller’s last year is ranked as the #3 player in the class. Some of these freshman will step up and be better than people are expecting.
This years Kentucky team is very freshman heavy. That is rare to see in the current landscape of the sport with the immense presence of the transfer portal. Kentucky signed a generational class of freshman talent but sometimes it takes a bit of time for all of the pieces to come together. This years Kentucky team has a chance to be better than last years team that received a 7 seed in March. It just depends on how everything comes together.