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Kentucky Recruit Enters Transfer Portal

DJ Wagner enters the transfer portal

Kentucky five-star DJ Wagner will enter the transfer portal after one season with them. He will keep his recruitment open, per sources.

Kentucky Recruit Enters Transfer Portal

DJ Wagner, projected as 2023’s sixth-best prospect, will enter the transfer portal after an inconsistent, up-and-down season with Kentucky. Despite strong nonconference showings, including 28 points against St. Joseph’s and 22 against Marshall, he faltered as they played competitive SEC opponents. The Camden, NJ native averaged just 9.3 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game in conference play, numbers not befitting of the consensus five-star predicted to shake up the college basketball scene. A big reason for his erratic play may be a persistent ankle injury — despite leaving Kentucky’s win against Miami with left ankle bruising, swelling, and discomfort, he didn’t really rest enough or treat it enough to let it fully heal.

Wagner’s exit follows the exit of longtime coach John Calipari after a first-round upset at the hands of Oakland. With Wagner, fellow players Aaron BradshawZvonimir Ivisic, and Adou Thiero have entered the transfer portal. Ivisic has already committed to Arkansas, Calipari’s new destination, as the second member of Arkansas’ new-look squad, while Bradshaw has committed to Ohio State. Incoming recruits in five-star Jayden Quaintance, five-star Boogie Fland, four-star Karter Knox, and more have all recommitted. Star players Reed Sheppard, Justin Edwards, and Rob Dillingham are entering the draft, while Antonio Reeves and Tre Mitchell are graduating. Kentucky faces the tall task of replacing all of its talent in time for the season to make a run into the postseason.

Wagner has not released a statement about his transfer. However, his recruitment is expected to be completely open.

Where Will Wagner Transfer

A distinct possibility for Wagner could be Arkansas with Calipari. Wagner’s family has had an extensive relationship with Calipari hired Milt Wagner, DJ’s grandfather, at Memphis as an assistant coach, and he coached Dajuan Walker, coaching him to be one of the first one-and-done players in college basketball history. Arkansas also has a wide-open roster with the departure of head coach Eric Musselman to USC, meaning Wagner could see himself starring on an equally competitive level.

However, Wagner will consider all of his options, per 247Sports’  Travis Barnham.

It includes going back to previous offers like Memphis, Syracuse, Villanova, and Louisville. Wagner’s recruitment was a 50/50 between Kentucky and Louisville, who employed Milt as the director of player development and alumni relations. It’s entirely likely that Wagner could go across rivalry lines and play with the Cardinals.

Anywhere he goes, Wagner’s transfer will be appreciated by any coach. Although Wagner struggled extensively with shooting and his emotions and raw frustration showed on the floor, this is still the Wagner that many saw as the best in his class. At his peak, Wagner is a bloodthirsty attacker who can score at all levels of the floor.  He’s agile, is a solid ballhandler, and can play both on and off the ball. It made him one of the most feared high school guards as the McDonald’s All-American led Camden to a championship title. Even if he had an underwhelming season with Kentucky, he could bounce back and prove his detractors wrong.


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