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What does Kellan Grady’s commitment mean for Kentucky?

Kellan Grady - Davidson - guard
(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kellan Grady - Davidson - guard

(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kentucky’s first transfer commitment of the offseason is official, as the school announced the signing of Davidson star guard Kellan Grady on Monday afternoon.

Grady, a two-time All-Atlantic 10 First Team member, averaged 17.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest to go with a career-high 38.2% shooting clip from beyond the arc.

What does it mean for the program, one in desperate need of a turnaround season in 2021-22?

The commitment

“First, I want to express my eternal gratitude for Davidson College, Coach McKillop and his entire staff for giving me the opportunity to represent Davidson for the last four years,” Grady said in an official statement. “It has truly been an incredible experience and has made me a better player — and more importantly, a better person.

“With that said, I’m very excited to be a Wildcat again and play for Coach Calipari at the University of Kentucky. It is a tremendous opportunity to compete at the highest level and pursue my dreams. I’m grateful for the opportunity and eager to get to work.”

“Kellan has established himself as one of the best players in the country,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “His size, his skills, his scoring ability and his playmaking ability speak volumes to the player that he is. Kellan played in a great program under a terrific coach, Bob McKillop. He is a four-year starter whose toughness and fight will add to our team. His game-to-game consistency – his scoring, his ability to share the ball and his defense – is part of what makes him special, and we are ecstatic to have him join a team that was close last season but needed what he gives us to get over to the top.”

Kentucky gets its shooting help

A 6-foot-5 guard originally out of Boston, MA, Grady averaged at least 17.1 points per game in all four years at Davidson, finishing his time with the program with 2,002 career points. He became just the sixth player in program history to reach that milestone.

As a shooter, Grady has knocked down 240 career 3-pointers and has made at least 51 shots from deep in all four seasons as a Wildcat, including 21 career games with at least four 3-pointers made in a single game. He shot a career-best 38.2% from three in 2020-21, knocking down 58 shots from deep on 152 total attempts.

As a senior this past season, Grady finished the year scoring 20-plus points in nine games, along with adding 14 points against No. 17 Texas, 17 points against Providence, 22 points against UNLV, 19 points against Vanderbilt and 27 points against Dayton, among other standout performances.

Back in 2018, Grady’s Davidson squad took on Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament in the opening round, with the newest Wildcat scoring 16 points and grabbing four rebounds in a head-to-head matchup with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Immediately eligible

Unlike this past year with Olivier Sarr and Jacob Toppin, there will not be a wait to find out Grady’s eligibility status next season.

Set to graduate with an undergraduate degree in sociology in May, the newest Wildcat will be officially classified as a graduate transfer, making him immediately eligible for the 2021-22 season.

Kentucky needs immediate shooting help, and they’re getting it with Grady set to take the floor in the fall.

The 2021-22 roster is taking shape

In the weeks following Kentucky’s season-ending loss to Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament, Devin Askew, Dontaie Allen, Lance Ware and Jacob Toppin have all either confirmed their returns to Lexington next season themselves (Ware, Toppin) or their parents have done so (Askew, Allen).

BJ Boston (NBA Draft), Terrence Clarke (NBA Draft) and Cam’Ron Fletcher (transfer) are the only confirmed departures, with Isaiah Jackson and Olivier Sarr both expected to test the draft waters before officially forgoing their remaining eligibility and making the jump to the pros. Five anticipated or confirmed departures in all.

From there, Keion Brooks Jr. and Davion Mintz are the lone holdouts on final decisions, with the latter contemplating a return for a sixth and final season at the collegiate level after the NCAA granted a blanket waiver for one free year of eligibility to all athletes participating in winter sports during the 2020-21 season.

With Brooks and Mintz, Kentucky’s roster unofficially stands at 11 scholarship players with Askew, Allen, Ware, Toppin, Grady, Oscar Tshiebwe, Daimion Collins, Nolan Hickman and Bryce Hopkins. With just one or neither, you’re still looking at 10 or nine scholarship bodies on the roster, at minimum.

Factor in Kentucky’s strong push for Auburn guard Justin Powell, who is expected to make a final decision in the near future with UK holding firm as a top contender, along with a growing list of impressive names joining the portal each day, John Calipari could get close to the 13-man scholarship limit in 2021-22.

And more importantly, it will be a clear upgrade in pure scoring and shooting from one year ago, along with the continued development of last year’s rotation players.

More than an athlete

Grady is known for his shooting and scoring, but the Boston native also wants to be known for the work he puts in off the basketball floor.

Earlier this month, Grady wrote an article for VISIBLE Magazine highlighting his grandparents’ fight against apartheid in South Africa in the 1950s and 1960s and how it inspired him to start his own program called College Athletes for Respect and Equality (CARE).

“I still want to be an NBA player. I’m an athlete, and that’s always been my goal. However, as much as I love playing basketball, at the end of the day what I really want is to make a difference and to inspire other people to make a difference,” Grady wrote. “As I watched a country in tumult, I realized that as a college basketball player, I had a unique opportunity to use my platform to put my frustrations and sentiments to good use and at the same time provide an educational resource for the younger generation to help inspire and empower them and bring issues like racial equality and social justice to the forefront.

“… Our mission (with CARE) is to raise awareness about systemic racial injustice to create change and promote human dignity and equality by educating and empowering the next generation.”

You can read the newest Wildcat’s article in its entirety here: “Hoop Dreams and Human Dignity,” by Kellan Grady


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

50 Comments for What does Kellan Grady’s commitment mean for Kentucky?

  1. millertim
    7:05 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

    This is a HUGE recruiting win for Coach Cal and UK! Congrats Coach Cal on nabbing a legitimate shooter and scorer for next year’s squad! If we can get Brooks and Mintz to return, you will have a legimate championship caliber team next year! GO CATS!!

  2. ricko52
    7:25 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

    What is Cal doing recruiting a shooter oh I know he can keep Allen company on the bench while UK burns and Cal plays his 5 star fiddle!

    • Brutal Hustler
      7:32 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

      Dude, just be happy we have another shooter, there’s no reason to believe Cal won’t play him or Dontaie Allen, it’s not even officially next season yet

    • mashman 93
      7:38 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink


    • Bluehender
      8:24 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

      ricko, are you a troll? If so gtho here with that crap. The ONLY negative comment we have had, of all the comments about this young man. I’m sure Allen is feeling confident about how he finished the year and not only that, he’s a total team guy and will welcome this positive addition to the team. A guy like this will make everyone on the team better because of his competitive spirit. I always liked playing against guys who were better than me because I knew it would make me a better player. Anyone who wants to get better, and I’m sure Dante does, will welcome the competition.

    • ClutchCargo
      9:05 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

      ricko, that comment was lame the first time and hasn’t gotten any better by you posting it repeatedly.

  3. 4everUKBlue
    7:26 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

    Off topic but if you’re not watching UConn women vs Baylor women you’re missing one hell of a game already. These women can shoot.

    • Bluehender
      8:28 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

      Number 12 for Baylor has incredible lift on her jump shot. You don’t see women shoot jump shots like that. Here we go…2 point game

    • 4everUKBlue
      9:44 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

      True, man Baylor got robbed on that last play of the game, I don’t know how there was no foul called.

    • Bluehender
      10:02 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      I agree 4ever. Clearly contact..

  4. chris43
    7:49 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

    Let’s go grab one more shooter while holding onto Mintz and Brooks. GO BIG BLUE

  5. bosch8184
    8:18 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

    It means Cal is still building a team not a program.

    • bigbowdennation
      8:19 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

      The stupidity is palpable

    • bosch8184
      10:23 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

      Don’t worry you’ll realize it when we’re crap, but it will be too late at that point. Was ahead of the curve on Tubby as well who should have been fired when we pissed away that Elite 8 game against Michigan State with horrible possession after horrible possession.

      Eventually you have to stop 1-year band aid fixes and build some stability continuity and experience. Which is why you are seeing Gonzaga, Baylor and Houston in the Final 4 most likely and not UK, Duke & UNC.

      But hey, keep drinking the Koolaid. God knows it is plentiful here on Kalipari Sports Radio.

    • BlueSteel
      12:35 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      Oh yeah boschOU812 – All that experience and Houston finally gets to a Final 4 for the first time since 1984… And Baylor for the first time since 1950 – Yeah I don’t think we want to wait that long!

    • runningunnin.454
      12:33 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      I have been critical of Cal’s recruiting and coaching philosophies, too, bosch; but, I just want some tweaks in recruiting and coaching…I don’t want another coach. Would you be happy with,
      Gonzaga: one final four, current coach has been there 22 years.
      Baylor: one final four, current coach has been there 18 years.
      Houston: one final four, current coach has been there 7 years. Another final four at Oklahoma; but also a 5 year show cause penalty at Indiana.
      Be careful what you wish for.

    • just a guy
      10:40 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      How many FFs did Cal go to before coming here? How many NITs?? Kentucky made Calipari! Y’all forget Cal was known and regarded as a dirty sleeve ball when he got here. Ol beloved Matt Jones was open about saying he wasn’t good foe our program. The same ol STUPID argument that Gonzaga hasn’t won a championship so Few would t be acceptable. When did Cal win his first???

    • just a guy
      10:42 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      Cal ride up on here with Five NITs under his belt and Two VACATED Final Fours. Remember that

    • Cletis75
      12:50 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      Yeah Bosch, because they have consistently outperformed us every year. Houston was last in the final 4 in 1984. You like 37 year team builds?

  6. Stop Hammer Time
    8:35 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

    My bad, autocorrect got me. And i failed to review before hitting submit.

    • Bluehender
      8:43 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

      No problem buddy. I agree with you too..

  7. channell
    8:56 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

    I’m going to like this new style of recruiting. Cal is going after the one and done a different way. Makes sense to me. Get those seniors that are mature and experienced mixed with a couple freshmen each year with a few returning 3 stars and build a program. Now we may be able to compete in the SEC again.

  8. JT55
    9:16 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

    Still need a PG. I’m not worried about shooting. They have enough shooters. Without a good PG, it will be all for naught.

    • kjd
      9:28 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

      Why is Hickman being ignored at PG?

    • Mr.Incognito
      10:52 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

      Because our freshmen disappointed so badly this year

    • Axel72
      12:57 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      You can never have to many shooters, I agree point is a question. The only issue with shooters is do they know when they are having an off night and do other things to help… i.e. BJ Boston. I think losing Isiah is really the only negative, Clarke didn’t play and Boston’s BB ball IQ is questionable at best. Let’s hope Askew matures and Mintz comes back because he has no fear and passes up shots on off nights to do other things.

  9. Swizzle
    10:27 pm March 29, 2021 Permalink

    Guess it means if we play george mason, we can probably win.

    • Lip Man 1
      12:42 am March 30, 2021 Permalink


      Well played sir! LOL.

    • 4everUKBlue
      9:25 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      Sounds like Swizzle and Lip Man the same person?

    • just a guy
      10:46 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      Kinda like you and big board.

    • 4everUKBlue
      11:28 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      Kinda like you and Righteous1.

  10. CahillsCrossingNT
    4:39 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    It won’t matter. Kentucky is done as a relevant program. Sad but true.

  11. Tom Bombadil
    7:59 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    Welcome to the family!
    Get ya fiddle-
    Let’s play string music!!

  12. dave1964
    8:27 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    We need two more really good players or it will be not much better than last year brooks was a huge disappointment, Auburn guard and one more big.

  13. secrick
    9:01 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    Sorry guys but i don’t get why these guys play at a school like Davidson and then leave and come to Kentucky. Don’t they have any pride for the school they play for. Yes i know that is old fashion thing but i still believe in it. Lets develop our own guys, if Cal can do it.

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      9:11 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      Davidson does not have graduate programs, so if Grady wanted to play an extra year of college basketball (which the NCAA is allowing him to), he had to transfer.

    • secrick
      9:33 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      Thanks Tyler for clearing that up for me.

  14. clarks
    9:20 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    Hickman is going to be very good, has bright future ahead. West virginia transfer fits better than sarr, but I really think sarr was only starting to get comfortable here. I hated the losing but it breaks my heart that none of the new players last year ever got to find out what it’s like in a packed rupp. I do believe that with fans we probably squeaked into the tournament, everyone seems to downplay the difference our crowd makes. Some of those close losses would have been 10 point wins and team had real confidence issue where few wins early would have solved.

  15. 4everUKBlue
    9:29 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    What is really means is the negative faction of our fanbase will have him under the microscope, if he has an off night some will be calling him names and calling for him to be benched and Cal can’t recruit..

  16. DelrayCat
    9:39 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    This is huge. It means UK will have at least 1 true leader from day 1…plus, likely several more with Oscar and maybe Brooks and Mintz returning…plus the 3 sophomores. Last season it took most of the year before we realized Mintz was probably the only dog they had. The short off-season caused by “the situation” meant none of the freshmen were ever really ready for that role. Brooks being hurt early on also never allowed him to play that role. So already the 2021-22 team is already significantly better … with even more pieces to come. Cal will right the ship, no doubt in my mind.

  17. HighBallScreen
    9:45 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    Why cant we identify, recruit and develop these types in the first place? These Terrance Clarke zero’s seem to he the Kentucky norm these days. Does his Pro Day. Plays 5 games and calls it a season. We did win 9 games this year with this approach and fans are happy. So we must be doing something right…..

    • DelrayCat
      9:54 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      Your frustration is understandable. But misses in recruiting happen. Go back and look at Micky D’s teams the last 10+ years…probably 30% or more of those guys never panned out. And we’ve had Clarke, Whitney, Vanderbilt recently plus the 1 year transfers who moved on…But Cal says it all the time Kentucky ain’t for everyone. It is a meat grinder here. He can’t hide you. But it is clear he is adjusting. I just hope he actually gives out 13 scholarships every year for a change. Then there is at least more leeway when you have a guy leave early, get hurt, or just not pan out. Even if he gets 4-5 transfers to fill the roster…it beats stacking the end of the bench with scrubs or his buddies sons.

  18. burntblue727
    9:49 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    If Cal is really changing the offense, then “modern” basketball doesn’t really require a true PG. Just need guards capable of bringing the ball up the floor. The NBA just has guards bring the ball up and look for mismatches or iso ball. If you want to look at what we could be next year review Illinois from this year, 1 big and 4 shooters.

  19. VirginiaCat
    10:31 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    Cal’s challenge next season will be to take many different components and assemble them into a cohesive unit that is capable of competing at a high level. Easier said that done. That’s particularly hard when you are coming off a 9-16 year that makes Kentucky a less attractive destination for recruits. Bringing in more experienced players and retaining current players will certainly help. We are coming to a fork in the road next season, i.e., return to prominence or go the way of Indiana.

  20. kfwa
    10:40 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    lets go back in the time machine…..

    With the addition of Sarr, not only did Kentucky add a much-needed body for depth purposes alone, they picked up an instant-impact player in the frontcourt with legitimate star potential.

    • HighBallScreen
      11:06 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

      That’s funny. And just 30 days ago we were going on a Magical Run and Winning like the last 12 games in row and going to a Final 4.

      This kid can help Kentucky. Comes with maturity. Can shoot.

  21. Boro Boy
    11:32 am March 30, 2021 Permalink

    This is a huge pickup and quite honestly may be 1 of Cals best gets since he got here because of the timing. I would be under the assumption there is not many 2000 point scorers in the transfer portal and he will be ranked as 1 of the top transfers along with Tshibewe…it is the new era in recruiting transfers over the 1 and done….this roster will really take form if Mintz and Brooks return…I am not sure how confident Cal is in Mintz returning as UK has already reached out to Bates who decommitted from Texas…I will say this I love it that he is spreading the love and showing interest in everyone who could assist being successful…I think last year Cal put all his eggs in basket on Christopher and Cunningham and got burnt so is why there was encouragement for Askew to reclass …it appears as he said he has learned…as he has showed more interest in transfers and even lower star decommits

  22. KYCat4EVER
    10:09 pm March 30, 2021 Permalink

    “What does Kellan Grady’s commitment mean for Kentucky?”

    The SAME thing it has meant since COACH HUCKSTER walked through the door in 2010…

    1. Praise about these “tremendous five star recruits” who are over hyped, over sold, and after one year … over Kentucky!

    2. Not another Championship Banner to hang in Rupp… that’s for sure!

    3. Coach Can’t-apari will open the doors to Kentucky Program attempting to lure an upper class man he can’t ever recruit or develop himself… but still will not win a championship with him!

    4. Kentucky Basketball isn’t what it used to be and never will be again as long as our AD and Head Coach strangle the program for their own agendas! Indiana… here we come!

    5. When did Kentucky become “rent a player”?
    Don’t kid yourself.., this didn’t start with a “transfer portal”! Coach One and Done sold out Kentucky and BBN to the NBA and rented five star high school players for one year the day he came to Lexington!

    6. Articles like this one by Jack Pilgrim are, indeed “GRIM”… because they are nothing we haven’t read before!