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Former UK commit Nolan Hickman cuts list to three, decision expected in “a week or so.”

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former Kentucky commit Nolan Hickman is nearing a final decision.

The five-star guard, who decommitted from UK back on April 30, has cut his list down to three schools. The finalists? Auburn, Gonzaga and Kansas, his father tells KSR.

How long until a decision is announced? “A week or so is what he is thinking as of right now,” Nolan Hickman Sr. said.

Following Hickman’s decommitment, the five-star guard’s father told KSR that his son’s decision came down to his two lead recruiters, Tony Barbee and Joel Justus, both leaving the program, along with homesickness.

“The connection with Tony Barbee, the rapport he developed with the coaching staff, that definitely had something to do with it,” Hickman Sr. said at the time. “We love the entire staff, with Calipari as well, but with Tony being his lead recruiter and not being there, and then Joel (Justus) being his second recruiter, it just made things rough.

“… It was rough with COVID, you’ve got to be away from the family again. COVID has played a part in peoples’ lives way more than you think,” Hickman Sr. added. “… Me and his mom, we were in tune with our child but we weren’t as in-tune with our child as we needed to be. We sent him to Mount Pleasant, Utah, away from the city, friends and family, FaceTime isn’t enough. … He was like, “Dad, I can’t do it to myself.” More and more, he just felt like he didn’t want to be away. He (was) actually home for the week, and he was like, “I really have to think some things through. I can’t go through this again, being away, separated from you guys and family.” That’s how we got to this.”

Following Hickman’s decommitment from UK, the Wildcats have since signed five-star point guard TyTy Washington and are currently the favorites to land Georgia guard transfer Sahvir Wheeler.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

50 Comments for Former UK commit Nolan Hickman cuts list to three, decision expected in “a week or so.”



  1. JT55
    6:39 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Hopefully it’s Kansas or the Zags



  2. mashman 93
    6:40 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Best of luck to the young man.



  3. Cokely53
    6:43 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Auburn or Kansas means that him decomitting was 100% not about home sickness



    • Wilfred Smith
      6:46 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      This. 100% this.



    • VirginiaCat
      6:53 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      It was obvious that his de-commitment had nothing to do with home sickness, although that was the narrative pushed by UK. He got a good look at last year’s 9-16 campaign and that, compared with Cal’s approach to any and all point guards, and the staff shake-up, was behind him looking elsewhere.



    • neat1ky
      8:18 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      Was not pushed out by Uk it was his dad saying he was home sick and the 2 asst coaches but we came out better



    • Memphis UK Cat
      11:11 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

      If he picks Gonzaga, he was homesick.



    • 4everUKBlue
      7:03 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      If it’s Auburn or Kansas it’s not home sickness, it’s about the $$$, both have been caught red handed.



    • nocode96
      7:08 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      Why does it have to be all or nothing? Can’t it be about him wanting to be closer to home AND not wanting to compete with someone like TyTy AND his two lead recruiters leaving the program? Correct me if I’m wrong, but nowhere did he or his dad ever say this was all about homesickness, just that it played a part. Hell, in this very article his dad talks about Tony leaving being a huge part of it. I haven’t seen UK, the Hickmans, or this site push that this was all about missing home, only people that do are the fans who are bitter. I say good luck to this kid and we ended up with a better player anyway, probably going to be two better players. Everyone is happy, do you guys know what it’s like to be happy and content? Only one pushing the homesick narrative is the fans.

      And what do you mean Cal’s track record with pg’s making him bounce? That’s really dumb. Cal undoubtedly has the best track record with pg’s in the college game…Wall, Rose, Fox have all been arguably the best in the league at the position for a time or two. It’s crazy to me how you guys put forth Askew and guys like him and forget about all the amazing, top tier pg’s we’ve had here. Knight would’ve been in that top tier in the league too had it not been for injuries and Bledsoe has been insanely good at many points in his pro career.

      Let this kid go and be happy with the way things have worked out. Last year at 9-16 was an simple and everyone knows that, even the troll fans, it just gives them a chub to be able to constantly talk about it.



    • LanceSAdams
      10:37 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      It’ll def be Gonzaga. If not then him and his father are full of shit. I’d love it to be Auburn so we could beat the shot out of him a couple times this year



    • Park
      12:06 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

      Agreed. From the original article,

      “With the coaching staff changing and him not being familiar, seeing the direction, on top of the coaches leaving, he was just like, “I don’t know. I know Calipari is rooting for me and he’d push me in the right direction, but I want a rapport with who brought me here.” That was all,” Hickman Sr. told KSR. “Just being so far from home, but the coaches (leaving) really was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

      He is a high school kid. He changed his mind, for what sounds like a variety of reasons. Give him a break. He doesn’t want to be here. Good luck to him.



    • catsby.5
      7:45 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      Nocode, I agree with you that we ended up with a better player and we should all wish this kid the best, but it literally says in this article that being away from home and his family/friends took a huge toll on him. Not to mention the long story that came out when he decommitted, that playing high school ball 1,000 miles from home really messed with him and that he couldn’t imagine being 3,000 miles from home. You’re right, his recruiters leaving were the straw that broke the camel’s back, but it has been very well documented that he and his family have said being closer to home was the main reason he reneged on his LOI. That being said it is absolutely fair to call bullshit if he goes to Auburn, which is even farther from home, and throws up huge red flags that a duffel bag ended up on his doorstep.



    • ibescootch
      7:47 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

      You’re making assumptions in a vacuum. Human beings and their decision-making is not in a vacuum, especially for an 18-yr old kid who was likely homesick at the time he made the decision. Being homesick can mean different things for different people and maybe having those two coaches around created more of a sense of ‘home’ to him because of the familiarity and relationships that he’d built with them. These kids aren’t machines. They’re children. I’d rather him make the decision now and admit his discomfort with the situation than halfway through the season and he hates it here.

      Heck, let’s say it’s me as a 40-yr old man and I was recruited and offered a great job at one of the top companies in the US, but it was 3,000 miles away. I had already developed a great relationship with my two immediate supervisors and I knew the situation I was going into with them and the expectations of me. But then they both leave and I’m stuck with two new supervisors with different agendas and personalities and methods. I would probably rethink my decision.

      We don’t know. Give him the benefit of the doubt that there was something that felt off about the situation after the coaches left and he was just being honest about his hesitations.



    • TonyMontana
      8:02 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      Oh come on, him going to Auburn does not insinuate he was paid. Him coming to UK in the first place shows he is not that type of player. He runs his own charity collecting coats for poor people for christ sake. We’ll never really know the truth behind him leaving, I’m sure it’s a combination of things, but the bottom line is, we traded 1 player for a better player and the doom fans are still complaining.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      8:23 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      Tony, your missing the point. If it’s homesickness he’ll only really be considering the Zags with KU a distaaaant second.



    • Cletis75
      9:19 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      Yup



    • millertim
      10:44 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

      There is no doubt that Hickman’s decommitment had EVERYTHING to do with the inside knowledge that TyTy ws coming. He didn’t think he could win a competition against TyTy… no shame— its a logical decision— go where you have the best shot at starting!!



  4. JGo
    6:44 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Doesn’t really matter at this point now does it



  5. clarks
    6:44 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    So homesickness but auburn and Kansas on final list when from utah. I really wanted him because he wanted us but seems like a bunch of bs, best of luck to him but may have dodged a bullet with him



    • Megan
      7:16 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      His hometown is Seattle. That’s what puts a lie to the homesickness narrative. Don’t listen to VirginiaCat. It wasn’t a narrative pushed by UK. Just read what Jack says above, something that was published after Nolan decommitted. It makes clear that it was the father who offered the homesickness explanation, not UK.

      “… It was rough with COVID, you’ve got to be away from the family again. COVID has played a part in peoples’ lives way more than you think,” Hickman Sr. added. “… Me and his mom, we were in tune with our child but we weren’t as in-tune with our child as we needed to be. We sent him to Mount Pleasant, Utah, away from the city, friends and family, FaceTime isn’t enough. … He was like, “Dad, I can’t do it to myself.” More and more, he just felt like he didn’t want to be away. He (was) actually home for the week, and he was like, “I really have to think some things through. I can’t go through this again, being away, separated from you guys and family.”

      You don’t need me to tell you, but you see how full of it VirginiaCat is? Straight from the father’s mouth.



  6. UKgrad80
    6:49 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    So just proves the homesickness was a pile of crap. Can anyone tell the truth anymore?



  7. TBW3011
    6:52 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Just admit it was because we were recruiting 15 PG’s. Claimed homesick and Auburn makes the cut. Lmao. I mean I get why he wouldn’t love everyone saying we need a PG and recruiting so many. Nothing wrong with just saying so.



  8. DaveT999
    6:52 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    HoMeSiCk



  9. TBW3011
    6:57 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Also why Sources Say Pod needs to get actual sources and quit thinking parents are sources. Man the access to solid recruiting info has really fallen off here.



    • Jack Pilgrim
      9:08 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      It was a public interview to get quotes on the record, not exactly looking for “solid recruiting info” on a kid that’s not coming here. Not everything can be written and talked about publicly.



  10. 4everUKBlue
    7:11 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Maybe he’s afraid of the competition, or maybe he read KSR comments…when 2 out of 3 final programs possibilities were caught cheating it’s a big red flag to me and we don’t need anyone who lacks self confidence.



    • runningunnin.454
      9:14 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

      He’s homesick, don’t you know; maybe AU and KU offered to provide a nice home close to campus for his family. That’s obviously kosher and permissible.



  11. channell
    7:13 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    This kid is a liar. Good riddance. So homesickness was his excuse. Didn’t know Auburn was that much closer to home than Ky. I guess I need to get out my geography book and maps.



    • TBW3011
      7:19 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      The kid didn’t say it. Don’t put it on him. His father said that to Pilgrim. Precisely why anyone with sources should know interviewing parents is dumb if you want the truth.



    • VirginiaCat
      9:15 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      I think it’s unfair to call the kid a liar, or call his father a liar for that matter. The kid wanted to bolt, but didn’t want to appear ungracious or burn bridges on the way out. It was a “It’s not you, it’s me,” situation.



    • T-Town Cat
      9:47 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      Maybe he meant Auburn, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. ?



  12. clarks
    7:29 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Bottom line we need pg and have to have one capable no matter what and he wasnt up to the challenge, wish him well but maybe best for both because this at uk ain’t normal and if u not ready it will eat u alive



    • TBW3011
      7:33 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

      Agreed 100%. He good enough to help us, but zero doubt the continued recruitment of others turned him away. He could’ve took it as a challenge and said, bring it, I’m better than those guys, or he could take his ball and go home. He chose the latter. Doesn’t mean he won’t be great elsewhere, but he wouldn’t like it here is what I gather from him. I’ve been very critical of Cal, but he’s right this place isn’t for everyone.



  13. JDid
    7:30 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    I saw the young man play over the holidays.

    Decent player; however, I was still wearing socks at the final buzzer.

    Good luck to the young man.



  14. UKFanSC
    8:37 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    I wish him no ill will, but I don’t feel the need to follow him much from here on out.



  15. UKFanSC
    8:41 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Mini PJ Washington



  16. chrisblue
    9:23 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Channell. I agree with you. The whole world needs to learn to be honest and not treat everyone else like they are dumba$$e$. Stop treating my like I’m stupid and just say I’m leaving because I’m scared and I’m just not built for UK. Careful with the facts about geography; Karen… oops, sorry… Megan the grammar police might try and correct you even though you are completely correct with your statement. I guess it makes some people feel better about themselves to downgrade others. What a sad life that must be. GO CATS!!!



  17. Glam Girl
    9:55 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Who cares?



  18. Matty Arbuckle
    10:03 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Good luck to him. Onward and upward!



  19. AirForceOne
    10:04 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Kentucky isn’t for everyone.



  20. tytyequalsnatty9
    10:07 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    Who’s Hickman? Wasn’t he that kid who wanted to play point guard? Not gonna happen – cause here comes Ty Ty and Natty9



  21. BLUEVADER
    10:59 pm May 13, 2021 Permalink

    So he is Homesick but consider Auburn and Kansas!!?? Homesick my HILLBILLY BADASS!! HE was s are of competition seen that we were landing more guards and felt recruited over!! The coaching thing bullshit as well cause the coaches coming in are better then the ones who left. I mean I forgot but what state is he from? I mean how do you not have more schools on list from where you are from if Homesick. It’s a competition thing and felt ensecure and the talk of us needing a pg all the time while he was on Roster. I bet it made him feel unwanted. He is scared of the competition period!! I mean the Davidson transfer is a threat to his playing time as well.



  22. CatBlue in LR
    12:06 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

    He’d be homesick if he went to UK ‘cause it’s too far from home, so he wants to go to Auburn? I got no problem with you reassessing, but don’t blow smoke up my butt with that cock-‘n-bull story.



  23. waytolongcal
    1:45 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

    Who cares where he goes, he didn’t want to be here, so goodbye! Don’t expect support from the fanbase of school you decommit from. He left bc Cal went after TyTy, don’t have to be a genius to figure that one out. Didn’t want the competition, that’s the true story.



  24. CatFanInLou
    9:47 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

    Maybe part of the reason he changed his mind was seeing all the abuse UK “fans” were heaping on Devin Askew last year. Maybe he realized that point guard is an extremely difficult position to play in Cal’s system. Maybe he noticed the hypocrisy of those “fans” heaping scorn on one-and-dones, but runing off a player like Askew who could have improved and grown for four years. Maybe he agreed with Hunter Sallis that all that BS just isn’t worth it. Maybe.



  25. CatFanInLou
    9:47 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

    running



  26. Rick_S
    10:28 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

    Auburn??????????…I thought he was “homesick”????????????????..He left because he knew we were getting TyTy



  27. Rick_S
    10:32 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

    @jackpilgrim fell for the homesick excuse from dad hook line and sinker…LMAO



  28. millertim
    10:50 am May 14, 2021 Permalink

    TyTy was COMING— that’s the REAL reason Hickman decommitted! “To thine ownself be true.”— Hickman knew he couldn’t beat TyTy for PG starting role. Its really that simple. I’m sure his dad convinced him that it wasn’t an ideal situation for his son— nothing wrong with that!



  29. jetmaker754
    2:58 pm May 14, 2021 Permalink

    If he doesn’t pick Gonzaga, then you have to scratch your head and say “hmm”.