Kentucky head coach John Calipari landed his first No. 1 pick since Anthony Davis when Canadian Shaedon Sharpe committed to the Wildcats in September.
Sharpe was the top prospect in the Class of 2022, but if you look at those rankings today, you might notice his name is no longer on the list.
That’s because a month after his commitment to Kentucky, the explosive shooting guard announced he would be enrolling in college early, joining the Wildcats’ basketball program during the second semester of school.
Does that make Sharpe eligible to play this season? Here’s everything we know next.
Will Shaedon Sharpe play for Kentucky this season?
Sharpe, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2022, is already on campus in Kentucky after going through early registration. He has been practicing with the Wildcats since early January and is technically eligible to play this season.
However, being eligible to play this season and dressing up and participating in a game are two completely different things.
Coach Calipari, up to this point, has been adamant that Sharpe will not play for Kentucky in 2022.
“We haven’t talked about (playing), the family hasn’t talked about that,” Calipari stated after Sharpe’s first week on campus. “My guess would be, he’s fine. Let’s get him in shape and go from there. There was never a plan to play with him.”
Calipari even joked that he was only kidding about the idea of Sharpe playing games to make people go crazy.
“I left that out there to make everyone panic, but there’s never been a plan to play him. But, let’s get him in here and work him out, see how things are and see how our team is doing.”
So while you might think that might be a definite “no,” Calipari got Big Blue Nation’s juices flowing again when he told everyone to get to Rupp Arena early for Saturday, January 15’s game against Tennessee to see Sharpe warm up.
And for what it’s worth, Sharpe has already put on a show during warm-ups this year.
However, Sharpe never entered the game, even though BBN was singing for him. As of now, there’s no sign he’ll suit No. 12-ranked Kentucky, but Calipari hasn’t completely ruled him out, either.
Is Shaedon Sharpe eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft?
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reports that Sharpe is eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft. Sharpe will turn 19 on May 30, thus meeting the age requirement for the NBA Draft. He will also be a year away from graduating from high school, which will open the door for him to hear his name on July 29.
Sharpe would be a highly touted prospect in the 2022 NBA Draft, but has yet to make his intentions known regarding his plans to enter the draft pool.
If he wants, he could wait until the 2023 NBA Draft, something that wouldn’t be too far-fetched if he doesn’t see court time in Kentucky this season.