Kentucky head coach John Calipari landed his first No. 1-ranked recruit since Anthony Davis when Canadian Shaedon Sharpe committed to the Wildcats back in September.
Sharpe was the top prospect in the Class of 2022, but if you look at those rankings today, you may notice his name is no longer on the list at all.
That’s because one month after his commitment to Kentucky, the explosive shooting guard announced he would enlist in early enrollment at the university, joining the Wildcats basketball program during the school’s second semester.
Does that make Sharpe eligible to play this season? Here’s everything we know below.
Will Shaedon Sharpe play for Kentucky this season?
Sharpe, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2022, is already on campus at Kentucky after going through early enrollment. He has been practicing with the Wildcats since early January and he is technically eligible to play this season.
However, being eligible to play this season and actually dressing and getting into a game are two completely different things.
Coach Calipari, to this point, has remained adamant that Sharpe will not play for Kentucky in 2022.
“We haven’t talked about (him playing), the family hasn’t talked about it,” 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 him.”
Calipari even joked that he only teased at the idea of Sharpe playing to send people into a frenzy.
“I left that out there so everybody would panic, but there has never been a plan to play him. But, let’s get him here and work him out, see how things are, and see how our team is.”
So while you would think that might be a definitive “no,” Calipari got Big Blue Nation’s juices flowing again when he told everyone to get to Rupp Arena early for Saturday, Jan. 15’s game against Tennessee to watch Sharpe warm up.
And for what it’s worth, Sharpe has already put on a show during warmups this year.
Sharpe never entered the game, however, even though BBN was chanting for him. As of now, there are no signs of him suiting up for No. 12 ranked Kentucky, but Calipari hasn’t completely ruled it out, either.
Is Shaedon Sharpe eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft?
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony is reporting that Sharpe is indeed eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft. Sharpe will turn 19 years old on May 30, thus meeting the age requirement for the NBA Draft. He’ll also be one year removed from his high school graduation, opening the door for him to potentially hear his name called July 29.
Sharpe would be a highly touted prospect in the 2022 NBA Draft but he has not yet made his intentions known regarding his plans to enter the draft pool.
Should he choose to, he could wait till the 2023 NBA Draft, something that wouldn’t be too farfetched if he doesn’t see any court time at Kentucky this season.