Just In: Mark Pope made clear and shocking roster update just now……

When Mark Pope took over as head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats, he arrived on campus to an unusual situation. Pope assumed control of the most well-liked college basketball one-and-done program.

For a long time, the Wildcats have been linked to strong recruiting classes. However, a large number of those classes have included athletes who wish to leave for the NBA rather soon, if not after just one season on campus.

Former head coach John Calipari benefited from the previous arrangement since it gave him plenty of space to add fresh talent to the roster each offseason. For Pope, who values development and experience in roster building, it’s not ideal.

Pope spoke with Fox Sports’ John Fanta about how he had to temporarily adjust this year in order to assemble a roster.

There is a wide range of things. It’s not how we’re going to build this year in and year out because we had to go from 0 to 12 in the portal season alone. However, it was the only option available to us this year. There weren’t many alternatives left for us.”

Pope’s system makes it difficult for inexperienced members of his team to perform at a high level. This offseason, the Kentucky coach needed to visit the portal in order to add experience.

Thus far, the former Kentucky player has had success in the portal.
The inside production of Oklahoma State transfer big man Brandon Garrison is augmented by San Diego State guard Lamont Butler and BYU forward Jaxson Robinson for the Wildcats.

To further strengthen the portal class, facilitating point guard Kerr Kriisa (West Virginia) and perimeter scorer Otega Oweh (Oklahoma) move over.

The head coach of the Wildcats is eager to get started. He knows he’ll need depth to do that.
Pope has experience playing with a full roster. The former player was a member of the 34-2 winning 1995–96 national championship team, which sent nine players to the NBA, under former Kentucky head coach Rick Pitino.

While it’s unclear if Pope will achieve the same degree of success, his goal is to return Kentucky to winning in crucial moments.

On November 12, the Wildcats will play an early test against the Duke Blue Devils in Atlanta in an attempt to get off to a fast start.

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