Breaking: Kentucky Are Leading And Mark Pope Hopes To Sign ‘Big-Time’ Transfer Star

Breaking: Kentucky Are Leading And Mark Pope Hopes To Sign ‘Big-Time’ Transfer Star

We may yet see more twists and turns in what has been an exciting offseason for Kentucky basketball and the NCAA in general. Following John Calipari’s departure, new coach Mark Pope has already assembled a roster on the fly, and speculation about who might be the next to arrive in Lexington is still rife. Leading scorer Chaz Lanier of North Florida is one to watch, according to Matt Norlander of CBS Sports.

Lanier, a skilled 6-4 shooting guard, led the Ospreys in scoring last season with an average of 19.7 points. Lanier had averaged just 4.2 points on 42.3% shooting in his first three seasons, thus this was a breakout season for him. However, as a fourth-year junior, he found his rhythm, making 51.0% of his field goals and 44.0% of his three-pointers.

The most of his career has been spent as a reserve player, however he was an All-A-Sun player on the first team last year. Furthermore, Lanier’s recruitment may have been spearheaded by Kentucky basketball.

Said Norlander on his podcast: “North Florida’s Chaz Lanier is not a big-time name but he is being sought after by big schools, and it is looking like that is Kentucky, and if it’s not Kentucky, it’s Tennessee. And if it is not Tennessee it might be BYU.”


Chaz Lanier Has Plenty of Competition

In fact, Lanier, a native of Nashville who attended high school there, has been viewed as having the best chance to sign with any club. That team is Tennessee. Lanier was identified by the Tennesseean as the Volunteers’ #1 recruit prospect.

“Chaz Lanier of North Florida is the best there is in the portal. Lanier played for the Ospreys, averaging 19.7 points and shooting 44.4% from outside the arc. At Nashville’s The Ensworth School, the 6-foot-4, 199-pound Lanier played high school basketball. The race for Lanier will be very competitive.

Pope and the Wildcats must decide if they really need Lanier. He would provide the squad with additional scoring in the backcourt, but Jaxson Robinson, a skilled wing scorer who previously played for Pope at BYU, is someone Pope is also trying to sign.

Robinson, who scored 14.2 points a night the previous season, is experimenting with the NBA draft. He might be selected in the second round of the draft; The Ringer and NBADraftRoom.com do not include him in the Top 60 at all, while Bleacher Report ranks him as the 46th overall talent.

His prospects of getting into college again are virtually unaffected, and he could even improve his chances if he has a strong year in Blue.


Kentucky Basketball Could Add 2 More Top Transfers — or None

There are connections between the dynamics between Lanier, Robinson, the gateway, and the draft. If Lanier believes Robinson is going to end up in Lexington, he might be hesitant to commit to Kentucky basketball. But maybe Pope can get Lanier to sign on if he can persuade him to play either way.

Alternatively, Pope might utilize Lanier’s potential visit to the Wildcats as leverage to encourage Robinson to move to Lexington.

Host Matt Jones stated, “Kentucky, if they get him, I think they still want to get Jaxon Robinson, but it gives you a little breathing room if you don’t get him,” while talking about Lanier on Kentucky Sports Radio this week. Because this youngster may start, in my opinion.

“They wanted two more impact pieces. … I think they thought Lanier was going to go to Tennessee, but if they’re able to convince him to go to Kentucky—I mean, Tennessee was wanting to bring him in as a starter, I think he could come in and almost certainly start right away.

“He’s a scorer. I think they’re still missing a scorer. He’s a scorer.”

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