Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Source: It would be ‘surprising’ if former Kentucky freshman Kahlil Whitney plays again in college
By ADAM ZAGORIA
A source close to former Kentucky freshman forward Kahlil Whitney said it would be “surprising” if Whitney played again in college, and said it seems more likely at this point that Whitney will train and prepare for the upcoming NBA Draft.
Whitney is currently back home in New Jersey, where he attended Roselle Catholic High School.
“The family is going to weigh all potential options and make a decision fairly soon,” the source told ZAGSBLOG.
A report from 247Sports Friday also indicated Whitney was leaning toward the Draft.
Before playing a game at Kentucky, the 6-foot-6 Whitney was a projected lottery pick per ESPN.com and other sites. But after his time at Kentucky, he is not on the current ESPN.com mock for 2020.
“There are a lot of different ways to become a professional basketball player,” ESPN draft guru Jonathan Givony told ZAGSBLOG. “There’s no one uniform path that every player needs to take. If he felt like Kentucky wasn’t the right situation for him, if he saw the writing on the wall with their recruiting class coming in and he wondered where his minutes were going to come from, I get it.
“Look at Jalen Lecque. He went undrafted last year, signed a four-year contract [with the Suns], he’s in the G League right now, he’s making money, he’s getting minutes, he’s developing. Would he have been better off at N.C. State, who knows? So I’m not saying [Whitney] is making the right decision or the wrong decision, but I don’t subscribe to the idea that every player needs to go the same exact route. So if he feels the G League is a better platform for him and a place where he can get minutes and not have to deal with the pressure of Kentucky, I think there are still going to be some teams that look at him and say, ‘What did we think about this guy six months ago?” and ‘Can we get him back to being 10 percent of the prospect that he thought he was because if he is he’s still potentially an NBA player. He’s just got a long road ahead of him, he’s got a lot of work to do.”
Although schools like Illinois, Georgetown and potentially Rutgers or Seton Hall would likely be interested in Whitney, it’s worth noting that when he announced he was leaving Kentucky he said nothing about transferring, instead saying he was focused on the “next step in my basketball career.”
This season, Whitney averaged 3.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 12.8 minutes in 18 games played. He started the first seven games of the season for the Wildcats before being relegated to a limited role off the bench at the start of SEC play.
As a recruit, Whitney was ranked as the No. 11 overall player in the Class of 2019 and was selected to participate in the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game.
Photo: UK Athletics
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.