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Ex-Kentucky guard D.J. Wagner transferring to Arkansas to follow coach John Calipari

May 28th, 2024

D.J. Wagner is now the sixth player or recruit to follow John Calipari from Kentucky to Arkansas since he took the job in Fayetteville. (Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

John Calipari has brought another former Kentucky player to Fayetteville.

Former Wildcats guard and five-star recruit D.J. Wagner has committed to play for Calipari at Arkansas next season, he told ESPN’s Jeff Borzello on Monday. Wagner is now the sixth former player or prospect to follow Calipari from Kentucky to Arkansas since he took the job with the Razorbacks earlier this year.

Wagner, who was the No. 6 ranked player in his class out of high school, entered the transfer portal in April shortly after Calipari shockingly left Kentucky after 15 seasons with the Wildcats. Wagner only visited USC and Arkansas after he entered the portal.

Wagner averaged 9.9 points and 3.3 assists last season as a freshman at Kentucky. He shot just better than 40% from the field, too, and helped lead the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament — where they were knocked out in the first round for the second time in the last three seasons. Kentucky has since hired former BYU coach Mark Pope to replace Calipari.

Calipari has quickly brought over plenty of talent to Arkansas since he took the job. Adou Thiero and Zvonimir Ivišič transferred from Kentucky to Arkansas like Wagner did to follow Cailpari there. Ivišić, a fellow five-star recruit, is a 7-foot-2 center out of Croatia who has true NBA upside. Recruits Boogie Fland, Karter Knox and Billy Richmond all switched their commitments. Arkansas also landed Florida Atlantic transfer and AAC Player of the Year Johnell Davis and Tennessee transfer Jonas Aidoo after hiring Calipari.

Former Louisville head coach Kenny Payne has joined Calipari’s staff at Arkansas, too, after he was fired by the Cardinals after two seasons there. Payne also recruited Wagner hard out of high school, and he played with Wagner’s grandfather on Louisville’s national championship team in 1986. Calipari coached Wagner’s father when he was at Memphis, too.

While it’s still early in his tenure, Calipari is wasting no time in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks, at least on paper, seem more than capable of holding their own in the SEC and carrying on the success that coach Eric Musselman built there before he left to coach USC.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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