Forward Kahlil Whitney, the second most highly rated recruit in Kentucky’s 2019 class, is leaving the Wildcats’ program according to his Twitter. Coming into the year, Whitney was considered by some to be the crown jewel of John Calipari’s class. However, to put it lightly, the former 11th-ranked recruit has not quite lived up to that billing. Whitney is averaging just 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds while playing 12.9 minutes per game, and his advanced stats aren’t any better. Below is his official announcement.
Thank You?? Next chapter?? pic.twitter.com/P3z1RNzHa8
— Kahlil The Dragon Whitney (@KahlilWhitney) January 24, 2020
Whether he is transferring or preparing for the NBA is not entirely clear from his statement, but the last sentence – “I will continue to do everything necessary to prepare myself for what I know I’m capable of at the next level” – seems to insinuate that Whitney wants to move on from college basketball. While he was 25th in Def Pen’s early 2020 mock draft, his play through 18 games of the college basketball season paints him as a prospect who is far from draftable.
One thing definitely true about Whitney is that he is an NBA-caliber athlete. The problem is that, at this point, that’s all he is rather than a legitimate basketball player. While his struggles with “feel for the game” were often evident in his high school tape, he still managed to average north of 20 points per game on the EYBL circuit and make an appearance in the McDonald’s All American game, so his lack of production this season certainly comes as a surprise. However, it also means that his absence won’t be a detriment to Calipari’s squad moving forward – the Wildcats will be fine without the highly touted swingman.
Def Pen will have more updates on Whitney as they come.