Kentucky basketball under Mark Pope: Transfer portal news, 2024 roster, targets, recruits, plus expert insight

Written by on June 17, 2024

The Kentucky Wildcats will have an all-new look when the 2024-25 college basketball season tips off. After 15 seasons in Lexington, John Calipari left to become the new head coach at Arkansas. Kentucky hired Mark Pope away from BYU as his replacement. Pope was a standout guard on the Wildcats’ 1996 national championship team, and is coming off a solid five-year run leading the Cougars. Pope will bring an up-tempo, offensive-centric system that is heavily reliant on 3-point shooting. Following the 2024 NCAA Tournament, every scholarship player on the Kentucky basketball roster transferred or graduated, leaving Pope with minimal time to assemble his Kentucky basketball lineup for the upcoming season.

Pope and his staff did an impressive job, targeting and landing a talented enough group to be ranked as the No. 5 transfer class in the country, according to 247Sports. The Wildcats’ roster is nearly complete, but they have two scholarships remaining. If you love the Wildcats, or just want the latest roster updates and college basketball transfer portal news, be sure to see what the proven team of insiders are saying at CatsPause, the 247Sports affiliate that covers Kentucky.

The team of insiders at are providing up-to-the-minute scoop on the latest intel surrounding the Kentucky basketball coaching transition and roster changes. CatsPause has built a solid reputation over its 20+ years covering the Wildcats, and has deep-rooted sources inside and around the Kentucky athletic department. And right now, CatsPause is offering 50% off the first year of an annual subscriptions*, so now is the time to sign up.

The team at CatsPause has full coverage of who is coming and who is going on the Kentucky basketball roster. Head to CatsPause now to see all the insider info.

Kentucky basketball roster departures 

Pope had to hit the ground running when he was named Kentucky’s new head coach since several members of last year’s Kentucky basketball roster have departed Lexington. Forward Zvonimir Ivisic is the first player to follow Calipari to Arkansas, and guard/small forward Adou Thiero followed after playing his past two seasons with Coach Cal. Aaron Bradshaw joined Ohio State, and guard Joey Hart will be on the Ball State roster next season. Point guard D.J. Wagner will follow Calipari to Arkansas.

Justin Edwards, Rob Dillingham and Ugonna Onyenso have all made the final decision to declare for the Draft. Kentucky will also be without top scorers Tre Mitchell and Antonio Reeves next season since both players graduated. Join CatsPause to see the latest on all of Kentucky’s roster changes

Kentucky basketball news, roster

The bulk of Kentucky’s original 2024 recruiting class followed Calipari to Arkansas. The lone player who stuck with the Wildcats is Lyon County (KY) point guard Travis Perry. 247Sports lists Perry as a four-star prospect, and the No. 77 overall player in the country for the 2024 recruiting cycle. His offensive awareness and shooting ability make him a great fit for Pope’s system. Kentucky later added another local high school product in three-star small forward Trent Noah.

The bulk of Pope’s initial Kentucky roster has come via the Transfer Portal. UK’s transfer class is headlined by former Oklahoma State center Brandon Garrison and former BYU guard/forward Jaxson Robinson. Garrison was a five-star prospect in the 2023 class, and averaged 7.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game in his lone season in Stillwater. Robinosn, BYU’s leading scorer from a year ago, withdrew from the 2024 NBA draft to follow Pope to Lexington. Robinson, a rangy, 6-foot-7 guard, averaged 14.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game for the Cougars in 2023-24. Join CatsPause to get the latest on all of Kentucky’s roster additions

How to get insider Kentucky basketball roster updates

Pope could also be bringing at least one big-time BYU player with him, so be sure to join CatsPause to see who that is and get the rest of the insider roster news

Who are the top names Kentucky basketball is pursuing under coach Mark Pope, and what former BYU player could land in Lexington? Go to CatsPause to see their insider information, all from a team of reporters with years of experience covering the Wildcats, and find out. And reminder, CatsPause is offering 50% off the first year of an annual VIP membership*, so subscribe now before it’s too late.

*Terms: This offer is only available for new members who sign up for a CatsPause annual subscription. After the first year, subscription will re-bill on an annual basis at the regular rate. reserves the right to alter or cancel this promotion at any time. Please write with any questions you may have.

The post Kentucky basketball under Mark Pope: Transfer portal news, 2024 roster, targets, recruits, plus expert insight first appeared on CBS Sports.

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