Skip to main content

John Calipari Responds To Kahlil Whitney's Departure

Kentucky forward Kahlil Whitney dunks.

LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 04: Kahlil Whitney #2 of the Kentucky Wildcats dunks the ball during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Rupp Arena on January 4, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

John Calipari has had a number of former big-time recruits transfer out of his program. Yesterday's Kahlil Whitney move, which came at the midway point of the season, was a big surprise nevertheless.

Whitney had largely fallen out of Calipari's major rotation. He combined for just four minutes in his last two appearances.

He had appeared in all 18 of the team's game, but was averaging just 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per appearance, and his numbers were trending down.

In his announcement, the former No. 11 overall recruit said that he needs to put himself "back in the best position possible," to take the next step in his basketball career, and that he doesn't believe staying at Kentucky was it.

After the announcement, Calipari out a statement on Kahlil Whitney's move, expressing his support for the young forward as he makes this change. Via Kentucky:

"First and foremost, Kahlil is a great kid," UK head coach John Calipari said. "This is tough for me because Kahlil is a tremendous person who is going to do great things. I certainly don't want to see him go because I wanted to continue to coach him, but I understand his decision and, as we always do here, will support him in whatever way we can.

"As I told Kahlil today, I hope he goes on and does his thing and makes us all proud. I know he will stay in touch with us and I know our fans will continue to support him as he takes this next step."

Even after a slow start to his freshman year, the five-star should draw plenty attention, assuming he's looking to transfer to another school.

We'll have more on Whitney's decision, and the schools in contention, as it comes out.

[UK Athletics]