DREXEL’S AMARI WILLIAMS PORTALS TO KENTUCKY!

By Hank Allison

Drexel transfer Amari Williams has committed to Kentucky over Mississippi State, with St. John’s eliminated from consideration earlier in the weekend.

He visited Lexington this weekend, and Mark Pope secured his first big transfer commitment. Williams is a three-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year winner and earned first-team CAA honors in each of the past two seasons. He averaged 13.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in the 2022-23 season and put up 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in the past campaign.

Williams ra cked up eight double-doubles last season, including 12 points and 15 rebounds against West Virginia. He also went for 20 points and eight boards against NCAA tournament participant Charleston.

Williams is the lone upperclassman on Kentucky’s roster, with incoming freshman Travis Perry and Collin Chandler the only other players locked in to suit up for the Wildcats at this point in the cycle. The other five members of Kentucky’s 2024 class have reopened their recruitments, while D.J. Wagner, Aaron Bradshaw, Zvonimir Ivisic, Adou Thiero, Jordan Burks and Joey Hart all entered the transfer portal.

Projected lottery picks Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard entered the NBA draft, and Antonio Reeves and Tre Mitchell are out of eligibility. Projected first-round pick Justin Edwards has not announced a decision.

Pope was announced as Kentucky’s new head coach earlier this month, replacing John Calipari, who left for Arkansas. Pope, who spent five years as BYU’s head coach, was the captain on Kentucky’s 1996 national championship team under Rick Pitino.

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