There's a new head honcho in Lexington and the first order of business is to get new recruits. The Kentucky basketball program lost quite a few commitments and had some players hit the NCAA Transfer Portal and NBA Draft after John Calipari left. So, Coach Mark Pope has to patch up the holes in their rotation. One big recruit out of Drexel is turning heads because of his decision to join the Wildcats: Amari Williams.

Coach Mark Pope just landed Williams out of Drexel, per Jeff Borzello of ESPN. He can be Kentucky's next big star. This was after the Wildcats lost a lot of players in the NBA Draft and NCAA Transfer Portal. To put it into perspective, only Williams, Collin Chandler, and Travis Perry are the guaranteed players for the Wildcats next season.

However, Williams' commitment has a catch to it. He is keeping his NBA Draft options open while also making the transition to Kentucky. This means that there is not much certainty that he stays with the Wildcats.

What happened to the others? Well, the loss to Oakland put an end to Calipari's time at Lexington. This also meant that his mentees in the Kentucky basketball program would rather try to find greener pastures now. They may think that it's better than to wait for Mark Pope's rebuild. Players like Zvonimir Ivisic, Joey Hart, Adou Thiero, Jordan Burks, DJ Wagner, and Aaron Bradshaw have all hit the NCAA Transfer Portal as well.

Meanwhile, this Kentucky basketball squad will also not have the benefit of having continuity in their stars. Rob Dillingham, Antonio Reeves, Tre Mitchell, and Reed Sheppard are all headed for the NBA Draft process. Justin Edwards might stay and help Coach Mark Pope but he has not yet formally decided on where to go next season.

What does Amari Williams bring to Kentucky?

Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens forward Jy'are Davis (13) moves the ball against Drexel Dragons forward Amari Williams (22) during critical late-season NCAA basketball game at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.
© Benjamin Chambers/Delaware News Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Amari Williams can let his accolades speak for himself. He has notched the CAA Defensive Player of the Year award twice, got two CAA All-Defense nods, and was named to the All-CAA team two times. In his four seasons at Drexel, his rim protections stood out the most. He was able to record 1.8 blocks per contest in four years. His defensive prowess hit its peak at 2.2 shots swatted back in the 2022-23 season. In the same year, he also stole the ball 1.4 times every night which struck fear into the hearts of his opponents.

Coach Pope is not only getting an elite defender with Williams. The transfer out of Drexel also does well on the offensive side of the court. Last season, he knocked down his shots with a very high efficiency. Williams notched 12.2 points on a nightly basis while also recording an astounding 51.9% field goal shooting percentage.

His inside shot is not the only big part of his offensive arsenal. Kentucky is also going to get an elite passer off the post. Williams was able to drop 1.9 dimes a night at Drexel. These numbers are likely going to get bigger, especially with the amount of talent that the Wildcats are able to pull due to their program's rich history.