Kahlil Whitney was a five-star member of the 2019 basketball recruiting class. He was No. 11 overall in the class, and was the second-ranked player in Kentucky's class per 247Sports, behind guard Tyrese Maxey.
Whitney is departing the team just a few weeks into conference play. Moments ago, the forward announced his transfer away from Kentucky.
Whitney put out a lengthy note explaining his decision. He does not indicate where he may look to head for the next phase of his career, but given how big a recruit he was, this is a pretty surprising loss for John Calipari's program.
From his announcement:
"Like so many others, playing at UK had always been a dream of mine. I truly believed Coach Calipari and his program, was the best fit to assist in preparing me for that next step in my basketball career. Unfortunately, my time at Kentucky has not gone as I had hoped, and I therefore need to make a difficult decision quickly to put myself back into the best position possible as I continue to develop and work towards my ultimate goal.
"I've realized since High School that the business of basketball waits for no one, and sometimes tough choices need to be made in order to progress. I've worked extremely hard over the past several years to become an elite player, and now, as unconventional as it may seem, I must continue to do what I know is best for my future.
"I can't express enough the respect I have for Coach Calipari. I've learned a lot from him in my short time at UK and will take much of his wisdom with me as I continue on my journey.
"I am forever thankful for my time at Kentucky and for all the people I've met along the way. I thank the coaches, my teammates, tutors, training staff, advisers, and professors for working with and believing in me."
His role with the team has not been nearly as big as was anticipated. He's played in all 18 games for the Wildcats, but has averaged just 12.8 minutes per night, scoring 3.3 points and grabbing 1.7 rebounds.
In the last two games, wins over Georgia and Arkansas, he has played a total of four minutes.
Kahlil Whitney chose Kentucky over Georgetown, Illinois, and Oregon during his recruitment. We'll see what schools get involved as the former Roselle Catholic (N.J.) star explores his next move.