BREAKING:his full back to the team today….

Mark Pope will be the next men’s basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, replacing John Calipari, who stepped down from the position earlier this week after 15 years on the job.


Pope will have his work cut out for him to build a formidable roster for his first season in charge.


Even before Calipari’s departure — he was announced as the new head coach at Arkansas on Wednesday — the outlook for the Wildcats’ 2024-25 season was filled with uncertainty.

Calipari had lined up the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class — a group featuring six high school prospects from the 2024 class — but there was little in the way of guarantees beyond that.


Though 10 of Kentucky’s 12 scholarship players from this past season were underclassmen, none had publicly pledged to return to Lexington by the time Calipari announced his resignation Tuesday, and it was expected that the majority of those Wildcats would be playing basketball elsewhere by the time the 2024-25 campaign began.

Here’s a look at what Pope can expect following the official announcement Friday morning that

With Calipari gone, the situation is even more precarious.

Of the 12 scholarship players on Kentucky’s 2023-24 roster, only Antonio Reeves and Tre Mitchell, who played their fifth years of college basketball, are out of NCAA eligibility. But, as of Saturday night, more than half of the remaining group had already announced their intentions to play elsewhere next season.

UK’s second leading scorer is projected as a lottery pick in the 2024 NBA draft after establishing himself as one of the most gifted backcourt players in the country this past season. Dillingham revealed that he would enter the draft — and forgo his remaining three years of eligibility — shortly after Calipari stepped down Tuesday, though he was certain to make that move even if the coach had returned to Lexington.

Projected as a possible first-round NBA pick this year following his freshman season with the Wildcats, the 6-foot-8 guard from Philadelphia has also entered the draft and will not return to the Wildcats for a second year. Edwards started 30 games this past season, second only to Reeves, who was a starter in all 33 of Kentucky’s games

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