Busting Brackets

Kentucky Basketball: Wildcats nab transfer Amari Williams from Drexel

Dec 14, 2022; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Drexel Dragons forward Amari Williams (22) secures the ball
Dec 14, 2022; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Drexel Dragons forward Amari Williams (22) secures the ball / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s an important time of year for programs all across the country as the Transfer Portal is in full swing, though Kentucky sits a bit behind the 8-ball. The Wildcats only just hired head coach Mark Pope last week; though Pope just landed former Drexel forward Amari Williams as a big addition to the roster.

Williams is a 6’10 forward originally from Nottingham in the United Kingdom who initially arrived at Drexel in 2020. After playing just backup minutes as a freshman, he grew into an important role with the Dragons over the last three years. His best figures came as a junior, averaging 13.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while making 52% of his field goals.

Where Williams’ impact was felt was on the defensive end, with impressive steals and shot blocking figures. In fact, he was named CAA Defensive Player of the Year in each of the last three seasons while also earning First Team All-CAA honors as both a junior and senior.

In a solid senior season, Williams put up 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game, with improved numbers from the charity stripe. He helped lead the Dragons to 20 wins and a 2nd place finish in the CAA. He had a season-high 15 points in a loss against West Virginia and dropped 20-point in a tough game against conference champion Charleston in February.

There’s no question about the impact that Williams had with Drexel and it’s not shocking to see him opt to transfer, hoping to make an impact at a higher level for his final season. After some consideration, he chose Kentucky, becoming the first big transfer landed by new head coach Mark Pope.

10 early offseason team winners. 10 early offseason team winners. dark. Next

Next season is going to be really weird not seeing John Calipari on the sidelines for the Wildcats, though Pope has gotten things off well. Landing Williams is a great first step, giving Kentucky a forceful presence in the frontcourt. Kentucky will likely surround him with plenty of top talent in the coming weeks and it’ll be interesting to see how Williams transitions from the CAA to life in the SEC.