Sad News As:Kentucky Basketball Misses Out on Top Transfer Portal Target

After a honeymoon college hoops month in which much went right for new Kentucky basketball coach Mark Pope, something finally went decidedly wrong. The Wildcats lost out on a key player in the transfer portal, as North Florida scorer Chaz Lanier rebuffed Pope and UK and announced he was signing with Tennessee.

It is a tough blow for Kentucky, and in a way, the Lanier decision shows how much had changed for UK even before coach John Calipari departed for Arkansas in April. Lanier chose Tennessee, the defending SEC champ, because of coach Rick Barnes, and likely would have done so no matter who was coaching Kentucky basketball.

Lanier had taken visits with Kentucky and BYU, in addition to Tennessee.
Tennessee and Barnes had created a pathway for former North Colorado guard Dalton Knecht, who is likely to be a Top 5 pick in next month’s NBA draft. The Vols sold Lanier on following Knecht’s path, something Pope was not able to match.

“UT was the best because of the fit and the play style,” Lanier said, per ESPN. “I’ll be able to showcase my ability to put the ball in the basket at the highest level of college basketball, and also develop my defense under a hall of fame coach in Rick Barnes, who has a track