Does John Calipari Leaving Kentucky Give Miami A Chance At Kentucky Transfers?

Will Miami sign any of Kentucky's transfers?
Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Ugonna Onyenso (33) slams the ball
Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Ugonna Onyenso (33) slams the ball / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The college basketball world was shocked once it was made official that John Calipari was leaving for Arkansas, but what does this mean for Miami

Despite being regarded as one of the greatest college basketball coaches of the last several decades, Calipari hasn’t won a National Championship since 2012 with Anthony Davis and hasn’t made a Final Four since 2015. With the Kentucky fan base being disgruntled, their wish was granted when the Arkansas Razorbacks swooped in after Eric Mussleman’s departure and inked Calipari to a five-year deal, per Christian Arnold of the New York Post and several other news outlets. 

As one would expect when a legendary coach and talent producer leaves a program, several Kentucky players have already entered the portal and the incoming freshman class will likely see several more de-commitments. With that being said, Miami is not a lock to land any of these talented basketball players.

While players like Reed Sheppard, Rob Dillingham, Justin Edwards, and even D.J. Wagner are expected to enter the 2024 NBA Draft, there are still plenty of other talented players who will likely return to college basketball and enter the transfer portal. Of those players expected to return and enter the transfer portal, who are the ones that could make sense for Miami? 

Ugonna Onyenso 

Miami and Coach Jim Larrañaga preached heading into the offseason they wanted to address size, and have done so so far with Lynn Kidd and Brandon Johnson. However, their bench features no size at all, and Onyenso could be the perfect player to eventually take over the starting role after Kidd departs. 

An elite shot blocker who had a ridiculous 15.3 block percentage and averaged 2.8 blocks per game in just under 19 minutes of play, Onyenso could be an anchor of the second unit that would give Miami the interior defensive presence they haven’t had in a while.

There hasn’t been an official word on his decision yet, but Miami should be calling instantly if he hits the portal. 

Jordan Burks 

A former three-star recruit, the 6-foot-9 wing averaged 7.1 minutes per game across 20 contests. While there isn’t too much film on him, Burks is a raw athlete who can score from all three levels. A player who would definitely need polish and a system to play to him, he has size and length that could be intriguing for Miami to move him around. 

If Burks isn’t looking for immediate playing time and wants to focus on developing as a player, he could be a great option long-term at the power forward position for Miami. Similar to Onyenso, no official word but he will likely be hitting the portal. 

Joey Hart 

A former three-star recruit as well, Hart didn’t produce much at all in his first and probably only season at Kentucky. The 6-foot-5 guard was behind immense talent at his position group, and will likely be looking towards any opportunity he can after he entered the transfer portal on Monday. 

In terms of what he could bring to Miami, he has the desirable size at the guard position and from what his tape shows is a great shooter. With a lot of inexperience expected to be coming off of Miami’s bench, Hart’s experience playing with some of the top guards in the country could help him tremendously at his next stop on his college journey.

Brian Smith


Fan Nation High school football recruiting analyst covering the state of Florida, as well as across the Southeastern United States and the state of Texas.