It’s just the yearly grind at Kentucky to watch as the roster overhauls. The only year where that really didn’t occur was in 2014-15, when eight players decided to return to Kentucky to join the 4-man recruiting class. This summer has not been like that one. A bunch of players have either decided or will be deciding about the NBA Draft, we’ve had players transfer or consider transferring, and the recruits keep rolling in.
So just how “normal” is the roster currently looking in terms of new/returning ratio compared to the other years of the Calipari era?
(These lists do not count walk-on players like Jarrod Polson or Twany Beckham, even though those players may have been given scholarships year to year)
(60%) NEW: 6 (Knight, Jones, Lamb, Vargas, Poole, Kanter)
(40%) RETURNING: 4 (Miller, Liggins, Harrellson, Hood)
(44%) NEW: 4 (Davis, Gilchrist, Teague, Wiltjer)
(55%) RETURNING: 5 (Lamb, Jones, Miller, Vargas, Hood)
(75%) NEW: 6 (Goodwin, Poythress, Noel, Harrow, Mays, Cauley-Stein)
(25%) RETURNING: 2 (Wiltjer, Hood)
(73%) NEW: 8 (Randle, Harrison, Harrison, Young, Johnson, Lee, Willis, Hawkins)
(27%) RETURNING: 3 (Cauley-Stein, Poythress, Hood)
(33%) NEW: 4 (Towns, Booker, Lyles, Ulis)
(66%) RETURNING: 8 (Harrison, Harrison, Cauley-Stein, Johnson, Lee, Poythress, Willis, Hawkins)
(55%) NEW: 6 (Murray, Briscoe, Labissiere, Humphries, Matthews, Mulder)
(45%) RETURNING: 5 (Ulis, Poythress, Willis, Lee, Hawkins)
(55%) NEW: 6 (Monk, Fox, Adebayo, Gabriel, Kileya-Jones, Wynyard)
(45%) RETURNING: 5 (Briscoe, Willis, Mulder, Hawkins, Humphries)
(70%) NEW: 7 (Knox, Gilgeous-Alexander, Washington, Diallo, Green, Vanderbilt, Richards)
(30%) RETURNING: 3 (Gabriel, Kileya-Jones, Wynyard)
So, in the previous years under Calipari, we have had rosters comprised of 47 NEW players and 35 RETURNING players. That comes out to a 57% new player ratio compared to a 43% returning player. How is next year looking:
(55%) NEW: 6 (Johnson, Quickley, Herro, Montgomery, Baker, Hagans)
(45%) RETURNING: 5 (Green, Washington, Vanderbilt, Richards, Gabriel)
So, as it stands right now, next year’s roster is actually right on track for the trends of the Calipari era. A slight edge to the new players but not significant. Of course, a lot of decisions still have to be made. Will Hagans officially reclassify? Will Washington and/or Gabriel go pro? Will Green transfer? Will Calipari get more players?
I know sometimes it feels like the most recent thing is the worst or best. I know social media acts as if the roster turnover this year is the worst of the Calipari era. That’s just not true. Whether or not you like the way the roster is formed year to year under Cal, what has been happening this year is par for the course.