June 13, 2024

BYU’s starting big man enters transfer portal

Kentucky may have another option for their frontcourt as BYU big man Noah Waterman entered the NCAA transfer portal on Monday. Although the transfer portal closed on May 1, Waterman had 30 days to enter after BYU head coach Mark Pope left for Kentucky.

The 6-foot-11, 220-pound forward started all 33 games for BYU this season, averaging 9.5 points and 5.4 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game, with a 37% shooting percentage from 3-point range. As a junior in 2022-23, he averaged 4.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17.0 minutes, starting 14 of 33 games. Waterman, who began his college career at Niagara, also played two seasons at Detroit-Mercy, appearing in 102 games with 76 starts, averaging 8.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, and shooting 38.8% from beyond the arc with 161 career 3-pointers.

Louisville, which recently added former BYU player Aly Khalifa and is seeking another big man, is also expected to be interested in Waterman. Additionally, Kentucky is hosting Fairleigh Dickinson transfer Ansley Almonor for an official visit starting Tuesday. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward, rated as a 3-star prospect and ranked No. 317 overall by 247Sports, entered the transfer portal on March 19.

Almonor started 31 of 32 games for the Knights this season, averaging a team-high 16.4 points, along with 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists, while shooting 43.6% from the floor and 39.4% from 3-point range with 93 makes. A two-time All-Northeast Conference selection, Almonor helped lead Fairleigh Dickinson to an NCAA Tournament appearance last season, where they defeated Texas Southern and then upset No. 1 seed Purdue.

As a sophomore, Almonor averaged 13.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists, shooting 38.1% from deep. Over the past two seasons, he has started 65 of 68 games for FDU, with a career 38.5% 3-point shooting rate and 180 career makes. Almonor has also visited Pepperdine, and Siena is reportedly interested as well.

Kentucky is also actively recruiting North Florida transfer Chaz Lanier, BYU transfer Jaxson Robinson, and Miami transfer Wooga Poplar, who have until May 29 to withdraw from the 2024 NBA Draft to join the Wildcats.

Kentucky’s current 7-man transfer class is ranked No. 5 nationally by 247Sports, featuring Brandon Garrison (No. 21, Oklahoma State), Otega Oweh (No. 28, Oklahoma), Lamont Butler (No. 45, San Diego State), Andrew Carr (No. 66, Wake Forest), Amari Williams (No. 81, Drexel), Koby Brea (No. 104, Dayton), and Kerr Kriisa (No. 118, West Virginia).

Noah Waterman Scores Career-High As BYU Crushes ASU

Additionally, Pope signed former BYU commit Collin Chandler, who is returning from a 2-year Mormon mission, Kentucky Mr. Basketball and 4-star guard Travis Perry from state champion Lyon County, and 4-star guard Trent Noah from Harlan County, previously committed to South Carolina, bringing Kentucky’s scholarship players to 10. “We’re at 10 scholarships now. I have two crucial pieces to add. The 13th scholarship is flexible—it could be for a young player, a senior redshirting, a project, or a high-risk player. We’re focused on filling these last two spots. It’s a priority,” Pope said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *