3 Kentucky basketball players who probably won’t be back next season

We now know that John Calipari will be Kentucky's head coach in 2024-25, but who will be on his roster, and who will be off to the NBA Draft this summer?
Kentucky Wildcats guards Rob Dillingham (0) and Reed Sheppard (15)
Kentucky Wildcats guards Rob Dillingham (0) and Reed Sheppard (15) / Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
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Freshman. Rob Dillingham, PG/SG. Rob Dillingham. 6'3" 176 lbs. 528. . Rob Dillingham, PG/SG. 2. player.

Rob Dillingham had a Tyrese Maxey-like start to his Kentucky career, bursting onto the scene in the Champions Classic in November. Now, it looks like Dillingham could end up being a Maxey-like scorer in the NBA. A dynamic bucket-getter, whose playmaking improved all season, but while there were questions about Maxey’s three-point shot when he left for the league, Dillingham shot it at 44.4% on 4.5 attempts. 

Dillingham clearly has a tendency to force this issue when things aren’t going well and he can be tempted into bad shots or turnovers (he averaged 2.0 per game), but that can be coached out of him at the next level when he’s forced to play within structure. This year Kentucky was so talented that all Cal had to do was roll the ball out and let them score, but ultimately that’s what cost the team its season against Oakland’s zone. 

Despite a disappointing ending, there is almost no doubt that, after averaging 15.2 points in just 23.3 minutes a game with 48/44/80 shooting splits, Dillingham will be a lottery pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. Kentucky fans fell in love with Reed and Rob coming off the bench, but like with almost all the greats of the Calipari era, it’ll be a one-year (not one-night) stand.