Kentucky has been fine, better than fine actually, since Kahlil Whitney left the team as the team was leaving for Lubbock, Texas and arguably the toughest game on the schedule. Kentucky won that game at Texas Tech and and then six of the next seven, a 7-1 record since the McDonald’s All-American announced his unexpected departure on January 24.
At the time, John Calipari issued a statement to say, “This is tough for me because Kahlil is a tremendous person who is going to do great things. I certainly don’t want to see him go because I wanted to continue to coach him, but I understand his decision and, as we always do here, will support him in whatever way we can.”
Little has been said of Whitney since, and speculation is he will enter the NBA draft later this year. But he came up last night on Calipari’s call-in show when a caller asked about mid-year transfers like Whitney and Quade Green, and Cal had nothing but positive things to say about his former player.
“First of all, I miss Kahlil,” Calipari said Wednesday night. “I loved him. (We’re) trying to figure out his path, how we can help him. The one thing at the end of the day, I felt that he was the guy that we needed in case we play somebody with size and athleticism, that he could come in and help us.”
Whitney left because things “had not gone as he had hoped,” he wrote in his letter to Big Blue Nation, but Calipari said he saw early on that Whitney might be one that would need a little more time.
“After he was here, I thought, you know what, this may take a little time like it did with Ashton and PJ and Immanuel, probably not as much time as Nick, but I thought it was going to take time,” Calipari said.
It’s too bad Whitney and those around him weren’t willing to see it all the way through.