The Davidson grad-transfer Kellan Grady is headed to Kentucky. Grady should be a big impact for the 2021-22 Kentucky Wildcats. As always, Kentucky will have a big roster turnover going into next season. Grady’s commitment could reveal aspects about Kentucky’s roster. Kentucky could land another transfer, who else will Kentucky target in the transfer portal?
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 29, 2021
Grady is a gifted offensive player with four straight seasons averaging over 17 points per game. Over his career, Grady averages 17.4 points while shooting 47.2%. Also, Grady had seven games across his career where he posted 30+ points. He is capable of taking over games with a career-high of 39 points. This alone will help Kentucky greatly. During the 2020-21 season, the Wildcats consistently had offensive struggles. Grady will help solve these offensive droughts.
Also, Grady will help Kentucky’s consistent struggles from three. The Davidson transfer has a career three point percentage of 36.6%. Further, Grady shot a career-high 38.2% from three in the 2020-21 season. John Calipari has established an identity at Kentucky. This identity is to take few threes and attack the paint consistently. With Grady, defenses will have to account for a knockdown shooter and this will open up the paint for Kentucky.
Lastly, Grady’s fit at Kentucky just makes since. He is a decently-sized guard standing at 6-foot-5 and can handle the ball. Grady will likely play mostly shooting guard at Kentucky, but he is capable of running the point. How Kentucky exactly uses him will be interesting. Grady should fit seamlessly into Calipari’s patented dribble drive offense. He can drive to the bucket, or can lurk on the perimeter waiting for a catch-and-shoot opportunity. All of which Grady demonstrated when he poured in 16 points versus Kentucky in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Significance of Transfer
Certainly, Grady should bring great value to Kentucky. However, signing Grady could reveal some characteristics of Kentucky’s 2021-22 roster. First off, Calipari might start chasing more three point shooters.
Grady, as mentioned, can shoot the ball. Dontaie Allen shot 39.7% from three this season. Allen has a career-high of seven made threes in a game. In addition, Davion Mintz shot 37.8% from three in the 2020-21 season. Mintz still has a decision to make, but it seems more likely than not that he will return. These three guards gives Kentucky three players shooting over 37.8% from three last season. In recent memory, Kentucky has not had three consistent shooting guards at once.
In addition, Grady’s commitment shows Calipari was concerned over Kentucky’s guard depth for next year. Brandon Boston Jr. and Terrence Clarke both declared for the draft. Furthermore, Mintz still needs to make a decision. Either way, Kentucky now looks to be set at guard with Devin Askew, Allen, Grady and the incoming freshman Nolan Hickman.
Kentucky Transfer Targets?
If Mintz decides to leave Kentucky, Calipari may get another guard transfer. Some rumored guard targets includes Justin Powell, Marcus Carr and Xavier Pinson. All three guards averaged over 11 points per game this year.
Regardless of Mintz’s decision, Kentucky will probably land a transfer to bolster their frontcourt. Some possible big men Kentucky could target includes Walker Kessler and Tre Mitchell. Kessler is a talented former five star center that averaged four points in his freshman season at North Carolina. Also, Mitchell scored over 18 points per game at Massachusetts this season.
Kentucky will continue to be a big player in the transfer market. How Calipari finishes Kentucky’s 2021-22 roster will be interesting.
All stats courtesy of ESPN and Sports-Reference.