Kentucky freshman guard Devin Askew has decided to transfer out of the program.
In an interview with Travis Branham of 247Sports, Askew says he will put his name in the transfer portal to “explore a new opportunity” elsewhere.
“I am thankful for the opportunity I had to play basketball at the University of Kentucky,” said Askew. “I am also thankful for the coaching staff as they provided an experience that contributed to my development in this game I love. My teammates will be my friends forever and I appreciate how they pushed me day in and day out to get better.”
“With that being said,” he continued. “It will be part of my growth in this game to explore a new opportunity and enter the transfer portal.”
This news comes just over three weeks after Askew’s father, Brian, told KSR the former five-star prospect was “locked in” for the 2021-22 season.
“Yes sir, (Devin) is locked in for next season,” Askew told KSR on March 12. “… Dev is doing well. Sucks they lost but can’t dwell on it too long. Have to get back to work and get ready for next year.”
Despite penciling himself back into the rotation immediately after the season, Kentucky has continued to recruit point guards at the high school level and through the transfer portal, an indication that John Calipari remains uncertain about the immediate future of the position. He expressed his concerns publicly on numerous occasions throughout the season.
Following Kentucky’s loss at Georgia back in January, the UK head coach said Askew needed to dribble the ball less and find spot-up shooting opportunities as an off-ball player.
“Here’s how I want Devin to play so you all know: I don’t want him to have a lot of dribbles,” Calipari said at the time. “I want him to get it up and get away from the ball. The reason I like that is because away from the ball, he can make plays and he can make shots. On the ball where everyone is watching him, he’s not effective. He’s just not.
“… Less dribbles, get rid of the ball, go away from the ball and when it comes to you, make plays. Again, he’s a respectful kid, I just don’t know if he’s hearing what we’re trying to get him to do. He will.”
As a freshman, Askew finished the season averaging 6.5 points on 34.5% shooting, 27.8% from three and 80.6% from the line to go with 2.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 0.9 steals in 29.0 minutes per game.
Despite Askew’s first-year struggles, the freshman guard originally told KSR back in March 2020 that he refused to follow in the footsteps of past West Coast talent who decided to transfer out of the program, promising to “fight through adversity” as a Wildcat.
“I’m different. I’m way different,” Askew told KSR at the time. “I live on the West Coast, but I don’t play like a West Coast player at all. Nope. I play like an East Coast kid. I like to be physical, that’s just my game. Even though those are all great players (Johnny Juzang, Jemarl Baker and Kyle Wiltjer) and they all had fun while they were at Kentucky, they just wanted to do something that was better for them. But I’m different.
“… I know I’m going to fight through adversity,” Askew continued. “If I don’t get out after one year [to the NBA], I’m staying at Kentucky. I’m going to grind it out for sure.”
Originally brought in to be a multi-year player, the former five-star prospect will explore his options after just one season in Lexington.
UPDATE (4:08 PM): Kentucky has confirmed that Askew has entered the transfer portal to continue his career elsewhere.
“This is the part of the business I hate,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “I wish I could coach every kid for four years, but I have to respect Devin’s decision and I do. I will always be here to help him. My hope – and I told him this – is that he takes the fight he learned here with him wherever he goes. He was a great teammate and improved in so many ways as the season wore on. I will be rooting for Devin as he takes this next step.”