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Kentucky’s all-time shot block leader decommits from Wake Forest

Photo: @WYMT

2021 big man Trey James of Martin County decommitted from Wake Forest on Sunday after they fired head coach Danny Manning. James committed to the Demon Deacons back in January. He broke the state career shot blocking record in the middle of his junior season and helped the Cardinals win the 15th region championship, averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds.

James tells KSR that he is hearing from Georgia, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Butler, Marquette, Miami, Iona, Loyola Chicago, and Iowa, and that he received a scholarship offer from Eastern Kentucky. He says he is looking for a place where he will be comfortable and have a good relationship with the coaches.

James is one of several players that have decommitted from Wake Forest since the school announced Manning’s departure. Wake Forest is in a free fall and has not been very competitive in recent years. They are now stuck paying Manning’s $15 million buyout. On November 25, 2017, Wake Forest was 2-4 on the season with losses to Drake, Georgia Southern and Liberty, but for some strange reason, Ron Wellman, their athletic director at the time, decided to give Manning a contract extension even though he was 45-57 as Wake’s coach.

This wasn’t Wellman’s only mistake as an athletic director. He pushed out coach Dino Gaudio in 2010 so he could bring in his friend Jeff Bzdelik. Gaudio, now an assistant at UofL, actually did a decent job at Wake Forest, making back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2009 and 2010. In the 2010 tournament, Wake defeated Texas and then lost to the John Wall and Demarcus Cousins-led Kentucky team in the round of 32. A few weeks later, Wellman decided to go in a different direction and brought in Bzdelik to be the coach. Bzdelik, who was coming off a 36-58 record at Colorado, fell flat at Wake Forest and the momentum from previous years quickly evaporated. After three terrible seasons, fans started buying billboards and taking out ads in the student newspaper asking for Bzdelik to be fired. He even stopped taking questions on his own radio show, but Wellman chose to stand by him. Bzdelik was finally let go one year later after finishing with a 51-76 record at Wake Forest.

Article written by Troy Howell

Follow me on twitter @ teeroyhowell

11 Comments for Kentucky’s all-time shot block leader decommits from Wake Forest

  1. Ben27
    12:04 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    Any chance Cal might be interested in a Kentucky boy that might stick around for a while?

  2. BigBluSoTru
    12:10 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    Kid is not a fit whatsoever at Uk . just because hes from kentucky doesn’t make him a good option he be a square in a round hole.

  3. Han
    12:39 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    Nix is bailing on UCLA for the G-League Select Team..

    • TonyMontana
      12:57 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

      OMG. We can’t be this lucky. It’s eerie, how many bullets we have dodged in the past 10 years.

  4. TonyMontana
    12:56 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    You remember Zion’s old high school mixtapes where it looked like he was just destroying tiny middle school kids? That is what this dude’s mixtape looks like! It’s worth a watch, he’s just manhandling these little dudes out there.

  5. CrystalBall
    1:16 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    Would have been nice if they would have mentioned his height. Going to take a guess. 4 ft 9, with great leaping ability.

  6. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    1:52 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    6-10 220 plays back to the rim…..hmmmm better than what Cals trend at center seems to be. And he blocks everything which is when UK is at it’s best.

    • CrystalBall
      2:13 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

      Thanks. I was close.

  7. Jpcat15
    2:19 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    He looks way more athletic than Josh Harrelson and he worked out pretty well for Cal.

  8. ziplock
    2:28 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    I guess Cal figures 7 foot 1 inch Kai Soto is not a good fit. He visited KY several months ago. He’s from the Philippines but plays stateside. He’s ranked 10 spots below Cam’Ron Fletcher at #68.

  9. IrishCat
    3:11 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    I’d love to bring him in, but the starting center @ Wake is the guy we need for next season. Do we know if he’s on the market yet?