Coastal Carolina grad transfer DeVante’ Jones, the 2021 Sun Belt Player of the Year, wanted to hear from John Calipari and the Kentucky basketball program after he put his name in the transfer portal back on April 20. It was a program he could have “definitely” seen himself signing with, one he grew up wanting to play for one day.
“It’s crazy because growing up, I always wanted to play for Kentucky because of Coach Calipari being the legend he is. … It would be a blessing to hear from Coach Calipari, just to hear what he has to say about my game and how I can help him, how he can help me,” Jones told KSR at the time.
Considering he had just come off a career year in which he averaged 19.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game and shot 49% from the field and 37% from three in 2020-21, Jones felt like a call would come, and if it did, they’d immediately move toward the top of his list.
“I talked to a couple guys that are higher up, so I feel like Calipari would (call),” Jones told KSR. “I could see myself at Kentucky, I definitely could. It’s going to be a crazy decision for me and I have a lot to think about, but Kentucky would definitely be an option, for sure. They’d definitely be in my top five.”
Just over one week later, that phone call never came through, and Jones has decided to move forward with his other options.
The 6-foot-1 guard confirmed with KSR on Wednesday that he had officially cut his list down to four schools – Memphis, Michigan, Texas and Texas Tech – and will announce his commitment on Saturday. Jones also told KSR that Kentucky never officially extended interest, despite the program looking to add a starting point guard to the roster for 2021-22.
He will commit to a program on Saturday, and then move forward with the NBA Draft process in the coming months before deciding whether to return to college or make the jump to the professional ranks.
“Definitely going to wait until the last deadline, because I honestly feel like I’m an NBA player now,” Jones told KSR last week. “I’ve talked to a couple NBA guys and they agree with me. I don’t want to overlook my ultimate goal and just rush back to school. My decision to enter the portal was for a coach to understand what my dream is. … The deadline for me is going to be probably June.”
With Jones no longer considered an option, Kentucky is still recruiting 2021 five-star guard TyTy Washington, along with the likes of Minnesota’s Marcus Carr and Georgia’s Sahvir Wheeler in the transfer portal.