Kentucky freshman Wagner goes into transfer portal

  • Jeff Borzello, ESPN

    • Personnel WriterApr 15, 2024, 01:28 PM ET Close Basketball recruiting insider.
    • Signed up with ESPN in 2014.
    • Graduate of University of Delaware.Kentucky freshman D.J. Wagner,

    a previous top-five hire in the 2023 class, got in the transfer portal Monday.Wagner, a 6-foot-4 guard from Camden, New Jersey, immediately becomes one of the more intriguing backcourt players in the college basketball portal.The son of former high school phenom and NBA player

    Dajuan Wagner, D.J. Wagner was thought about the top player in the 2023 class for much of his high school profession. He was one of the very best scorers on the Nike EYBL circuit and led Camden High School to the New Jersey state title.Wagner also made MVP honors at the McDonald’s All American Game.He finished his high school career ranked

    No. 4 in the ESPN 100 and entered Kentucky with first-round NBA draft projections.

    After a couple of early 20-point efforts against Saint Joseph’s and Marshall, nevertheless, he was irregular on the offensive end.Editor’s Picks

    1 Related Wagner ended up the season scoring in single-digits in 10 of his last 13 games, including a scoreless getaway in Kentucky’s NCAA competition loss to Oakland.He was still

    able to show flashes of his high-level playmaking ability, including 18 points and 10 assists vs. Georgia; 18 points vs. Texas A&M; 14 points and five assists against North Carolina; and 19 points versus Arkansas.He completed his freshman season averaging 9.9 points and 3.3 assists.Wagner was the topic of an extreme recruiting fight between Kentucky and Louisville. Then-Kentucky coach John Calipari coached Wagner’s daddy at Memphis, while then-Louisville coach Kenny Payne played with Wagner’s grandpa Milt on Louisville’s 1986 championship game group. Wagner’s stepbrother, Kareem Watkins, was a walk-on at Kentucky, and Payne worked with Milt Wagner as the program’s director of player development and alumni relations.Kentucky has undergone huge roster changes because Calipari left for Arkansas last week. Wagner is the team’s second key player to get in the portal, following high school teammate Aaron Bradshaw, and four of the Wildcats’ 6 2024 recruits have decommitted and reopened their recruitments.Bradshaw, the No. 36-ranked transfer, announced his dedication to Ohio State on Monday. He had checked out the Buckeyes ‘campus this past weekend.A 7-foot-1 center, Bradshaw was ranked No. 6 in the ESPN 100 for the 2023 class however a foot injury last spring forced him to miss the entire offseason and postponed his Kentucky debut till early December.He made an instant effect once healthy, ending up with 17 points and 11 rebounds versus Penn in the 2nd game of his career and scoring 12 points versus North Carolina a week later. Bradshaw saw his role reduce as the season progressed, however, culminating with 6 overall minutes in 2 SEC and NCAA competition games.He completed his freshman season with averages of 4.9 points and 3.3 rebounds, but his ceiling and two-way ability deal intriguing upside upon his arrival at Ohio State under new head coach Jake Diebler.

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