Kentucky received not one, but two waiver rulings in its favor Wednesday evening.
Moments after Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr announced he had received his waiver from the SEC and was declared eligible for the 2020-21 season, Rhode Island transfer Jacob Toppin confirmed he had received his waiver from the NCAA, as well.
I’M READY? pic.twitter.com/3zBl1alqGZ
— Jacob T (@Jtoppin0) October 21, 2020
The UK basketball program has since announced Toppin’s immediate eligibility for the upcoming season:
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) October 21, 2020
In 30 games as a freshman at Rhode Island, the former three-star prospect in the class of 2019 averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per contest, including three starts.
Against high-quality competition, though, the newest Wildcat put forth solid performances, finishing in double figures against LSU (10), Alabama (11), and Richmond (12), who was expected to make the NCAA Tournament this past year.
“I chose Kentucky because I wanted an environment that would challenge me to chase greatness on the court,” Toppin said upon signing with the Kentucky basketball program in April. “I love the fact that Coach Cal asked about my interests and goals as a player and told me that they would help me chase them. I love that the players that go there are about the team and winning, which is in line with what I’m about.
“I have heard so much about the Big Blue Nation and I’m excited to play for and be a part of that atmosphere. I am blessed and excited to begin my journey at Kentucky.”
“I’m really excited about the addition of Jacob,” John Calipari said at the time. “Not only is he a great athlete, he’s a tremendous kid. He has some experience, but he’s only scratched the surface of how good he can be. My hope is our culture brings out the best in him.
“Jacob wanted this challenge and wanted to be here. He understands what this culture is and what it isn’t. He’s talented, athletic and can shoot, plus he’s a terrific student and young man. He’s going to be an important part of this program. I can’t wait to coach him.”
After originally planning on sitting out a year to develop his body and game, Toppin and the Kentucky coaching staff opted to instead move forward with an immediate eligibility request to play this season.
Now, it’s official.