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UK, Syracuse And Michigan State All See Critical Defections

What a strange time it is for college basketball

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Syracuse at Houston
Mar 27, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Quincy Guerrier (1) fouls Houston Cougars forward Justin Gorham (4) during the first half in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

There were three major player movement decisions on Friday. They’re not transfers in two cases and possibly not the third, so it’s kind of hard to classify them.

In ACC news, Syracuse’s Quincy Guerrier intends to assess his NBA prospects but won’t go back to Syracuse in any case. That’s kind of weird because he was in line to be the main player on that team, other than perhaps Buddy Boeheim. Even so, there’s not a lot of overlap between those two. They actually complement each other pretty well.

Second, Emoni Bates has decommitted from Michigan State which is a huge loss.

Bates could go the G-League route, but he could conceivably make more money in college when NIL stuff is hammered out. It would be painful for Spartan fans but we could see him making a ton at Michigan.

And third, with a lot of rebuilding to do, Kentucky lost a very promising recruit when 5-star point guard Nolan Hickman Jr. bailed.

Apparently he was homesick and had spent his last year at a prep school far from home under lockdown. Hard to blame him for wanting to be around his family. We forget sometimes that despite their immense talents, these are still teenage kids.

That’s fine for him but it puts Kentucky in a bind. They need a point guard and fast. And the recruiting oomph that John Calipari had for a time? It’s not really happening anymore.