Kentucky basketball lost the commitment of four-star point guard Nolan Hickman, the No. 4 player at his position in the class of 2021.
One of the most important players in Kentucky basketball’s 2021 recruiting class has left the building.
On Friday, Nolan Hickman decommitted from Kentucky via social media.
The No. 29 prospect in the class thanked head coach John Calipari and Kentucky, but he’s reversed his decision to play for them.
That’s a problem for Calipari, given the Wildcats’ need at the point. They have no true point guards on the roster for the 2021-22 season.
Replacing Nolan Hickman will be a huge priority for Kentucky basketball
The good news is they’re getting a welcome reinforcement for the backcourt in Kellan Grady, who is transferring in from Davidson. He was first-team All-Atlantic 10 as a senior and sophomore. Over four years as a starter, Grady averaged 17.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game with serious consistency across those board.
However, Grady is more of a shooting guard than a point guard. Even with the transfer, Hickman was expected to run the show as a true freshman.
The departure of Tony Barbee, the assistant coach who recruited Hickman, undoubtedly played a role in decommitment. Barbee was named the head coach at Central Michigan.
Calipari is reportedly bringing back recruiting ace Orlando Antigua as a replacement for Barbee, which may help things on the recruiting front.
The Wildcats will face extra pressure to find someone to make up for Hickman. Five-star point guard TyTy Washington has an offer, but other elite options are limited if they miss on him. Five-star combo guard Jaden Hardy is another target who looks more likely to go pro than commit to Kentucky.
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