Another Kentucky men’s basketball signee decommits from the Cats’ 2024 recruiting class

Kentucky men’s basketball’s 2024 recruiting class has now lost more than half of its members.

The Wildcats had six incoming freshmen lined up for the 2024-25 season, a group that included four signees and three McDonald’s All-Americans.

In the wake of longtime head coach John Calipari leaving his post at Kentucky for the Arkansas job last week, that recruiting class has eroded.

Small forward Karter Knox and centers Jayden Quaintance and Somto Cyril all decommitted from UK last week. Now, a fourth member of UK’s 2024 recruiting class has followed their lead.

On Monday morning, reported that guard Boogie Fland has requested a release from his national letter of intent with UK.

Fland was one of those four signees and three McDonald’s All-Americans in UK’s 2024 recruiting class. Fland requested out of his paperwork with Kentucky just one day after new head coach Mark Pope was officially introduced in front of a packed Rupp Arena full of UK fans.

Fland, a 6-foot-2 guard from just outside New York City, was the second player to commit to the Cats in the 2024 recruiting class: Fland picked UK over Alabama and Indiana in October.

Considered a three-level scorer who can make shots from long range and an active defender, Fland took part in The Nike Hoop Summit over the weekend.

Just a few weeks ago when Calipari was still the head coach at Kentucky, Fland spoke about the notion of playing under an even larger microscope in Lexington given the pressure that would have been on Calipari during the 2024-25 season.

“I don’t feel like there’s any pressure,” Fland said during McDonald’s All-American Game media day. “I feel like we chose Kentucky because we knew what it came with, and you’ve just got to go there and do what you’ve got to do.”

Fland is ranked as a five-star recruit and the No. 18 overall prospect in the 2024 recruiting class by the 247Sports Composite.

Earlier this year at the Hoophall Classic, Fland spoke to the Herald-Leader about what Calipari’s recruiting pitch was to him.

“(Calipari) said, ‘You come in, and be you.’ ... He basically said I could come in there and be myself,” Fland told the Herald-Leader in January. “Why not go to that program, go to that coach or where the coaches are believing in me to do what I do?”

Johnuel “Boogie” Fland is considered one of the top combo guards in the class of 2024. The UK signee reportedly announced Monday that he had reopened his recruitment.
Johnuel “Boogie” Fland is considered one of the top combo guards in the class of 2024. The UK signee reportedly announced Monday that he had reopened his recruitment.

With the quartet of Cyril, Fland, Knox and Quaintance having all decommitted from Kentucky, only guard Travis Perry and small forward Billy Richmond are yet to drop out of UK’s 2024 recruiting class.

Perry and his father and high school coach, Ryan, were both at Pope’s introductory event as UK’s new head coach on Sunday wearing Kentucky gear. Afterward, they spoke extensively to the Herald-Leader about the status of Perry’s recruitment.

Perry, an in-state recruit who is the all-time leading scorer in Kentucky boys high school basketball history, is still signed to play at Kentucky. All indications point toward him sticking with that plan and being in Lexington later this year.

Richmond, a verbal commit, is not expected to remain in UK’s 2024 recruiting group. Richmond’s father previously played college basketball for Calipari.

Also Sunday, it was reported that Quaintance — the prospect viewed as having the most potential from this group and someone who isn’t eligible for the NBA draft until 2026 — will take his first official visit to Louisville as part of his reopened recruitment.

Mark Pope begins to build first Kentucky basketball roster

Pope, who previously was the head coach at BYU and Utah Valley and was a key member of Kentucky’s 1996 NCAA championship team, has a mostly blank slate to work with as he constructs his first UK basketball roster.

Between players entering the NCAA transfer portal, declaring for the NBA draft and decommitting from what was a six-player incoming recruiting class, there are precious few pieces currently in place for Pope in Lexington.

Aaron Bradshaw (Ohio State) and Zvonimir Ivisic (Arkansas) have both transferred to new schools. Joey Hart, Adou Thiero and D.J. Wagner are other Wildcats from the 2023-24 team that have entered the transfer portal.

Also from last season’s squad, Rob Dillingham, Justin Edwards and Ugonna Onyenso have declared for the 2024 NBA draft. Tre Mitchell and Antonio Reeves have exhausted their college eligibility.

Four of the six players that Calipari had lined up as part of Kentucky’s 2024 recruiting class have decommitted from the UK program, including all three of Kentucky’s McDonald’s All-American recruits.

Pope has also set the table for some potential transfer portal pickups.

BYU center Aly Khalifa has narrowed his list of schools to three out of the portal: Kentucky, Louisville or a return to BYU.

Later this week, the Wildcats will host former Drexel big man Amari Williams on a recruiting visit.

College players have until May 1 to enter the transfer portal, and the deadline to put their names in the NBA draft is April 27. Any college players who enter the draft must remove their names from consideration by May 29 to retain their NCAA eligibility.

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