Kentucky guard Antonio Reeves is back on campus and plans to practice with the Wildcats for the upcoming 2023-24 season, the university confirmed Wednesday, ending a rollercoaster offseason for the senior guard. Reeves, an effective scorer who averaged 14.4 points for the Wildcats last season, first entered his name into the NBA Draft before opting to return to college for another season in order to boost his stock.
Reeves never entered his name into the transfer portal but reportedly took summer classes at Illinois State, where he began his career. By attending summer classes and graduating, Reeves is eligible to play right away.
The fifth-year senior will be the most experienced player on John Calipari's roster this season and the lone scholarship upperclassman. The Wildcats lost former National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe, along with Cason Wallace, Jacob Toppin and Chris Livingston to the draft. Sahvir Wheeler, CJ Fredrick, Damion Collins and Lance Ware all left the team via the transfer portal.
Getting Reeves back into the mix is a huge boost for the program. Kentucky was in danger of entering the season without a single scholarship upperclassmen. Kentucky possesses the No. 1 2023 recruiting class, according to 247Sports, but the flip side is that it will also have one of the youngest starting lineups in college basketball. The Wildcats landed four five-star prospects: Aaron Bradshaw, Justin Edwards, DJ Wagner and Robert Dillingham. All four players are expected to play big roles immediately because the Wildcats currently only have nine scholarship players.
Compounding the issue is theto Bradshaw, which could affect whether he plays at the beginning of the season. The 7-foot freshman was expected to receive significant minutes right away and is a projected first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.