Last week, Jacob Toppin announced he is transferring from Rhode Island to Kentucky. This afternoon, Kentucky made it official, sending out a press release with quotes from Toppin and his new coach John Calipari.
“I chose Kentucky because I wanted an environment that would challenge me to chase greatness on the court,” Toppin said. “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.”
Under the current NCAA rules, Toppin will have to sit out the 2020-21 season and has three seasons of eligibility remaining. There is talk the NCAA will change that rule in the coming weeks, but as of now, Kentucky is planning for Toppin to add depth and experience in practice.
“I’m really excited about the addition of Jacob,” Calipari said. “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.”
Toppin, the brother of National Player of the Year Obi Toppin, appeared in 30 games with three starts as a freshman, averaging 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. He finished in double figures against Saint Joseph’s (12), LIU (11), LSU (10), Alabama (11), and Richmond (12). The 6’8″ 190-pound forward also totaled 13 3-pointers, including three vs. Alabama, and shot 42.6% from the floor overall.
Enjoy his highlights below. Welcome to the fam, Jacob!
— Kentucky Wildcats Breakdown (@GoCatsBreakdown) April 16, 2020