The Kentucky men’s basketball program added a talented facilitator from the transfer portal on Monday afternoon, with a commitment from Sahvir Wheeler. Almost nobody was as excited as head coach John Calipari.
The Wildcats took advantage of the new rule adopted by the SEC that allows a one-time, intraconference transfer without the requirement to sit out a year in order to scoop up Wheeler. Just last year, the 5-foot-10 point guard led the conference in assists per game for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Wheeler’s ability to set up his teammates and run an offense impressed Calipari over the past two years. Already, he’s thinking about what the young point guard can do in Kentucky’s scheme.
“Sahvir is the kind of player that dictates the pace of the game, who gets easy baskets for himself and his teammates, and who can be disruptive defensively,” Calipari said in an official release. “He is what you look for in a point guard in that he puts his teammates in positions to score, yet he can score the ball in bunches when he needs to.
“He was a second-team all-conference player as a sophomore and almost routinely put up games with double-digit assists, including setting the SEC Tournament record this last season with 13. I am excited for him to be a part of this program and my guess is our players will be too.”
.@sahvir_ was All-SEC Second Team as a sophomore and almost routinely put up games with double-digit assists, including setting the @SEC Tournament record this last season with 13. I am excited for him to be a part of #LaFamilia and my guess is our players will be too.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 17, 2021
During the 2020-21 season, Wheeler impressed on a middling Georgia team. He paced the SEC with 7.4 assists per game, which ranked fifth in the nation, but also scored 14.0 points and nabbed 1.7 steals per game.
Wheeler averaged 11.3 points and 5.8 assists in his 57 career games with the Bulldogs and will still have three years of eligibility remaining when he arrives at Kentucky. Although he has his sights set on the NBA, he could prove to be a valuable part of the Wildcats for the next few seasons.
“I chose the University of Kentucky because it gives me the best opportunity to make a run at a national championship and pursue my dreams of playing in the NBA,” Wheeler said. “I can’t wait to get to Lexington and get to work.”