Kentucky standout Marcus Lee has decided against entering the 2016 NBA Draft, but he has also decided that he does not want to stay with the Wildcats.
On Wednesday, it was reported that Lee had withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft, but he would also be seeking a transfer out of Lexington. He released a statement on his decision to transfer, which will reportedly come with no restrictions.
“I want to thank the University of Kentucky, the basketball staff and the Big Blue Nation for supporting me over the years,” Lee said. “I’m sorry it took me so long to come to this decision, but I’m trying to do what’s right for me and my family. I’ll always think fondly of my time at Kentucky.”
The rising senior has been one of the better defensive players for the Wildcats over the last three years. During the 2015-16 season, he recorded career highs with 6.4 points per game, 6.0 rebound per game, 59 total blocked shots and 11 total assists.
Head coach John Calipari now has to contend with Lee leaving, which makes his sixth transfer since the end of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. He spoke about Lee’s decision and seems accepting of it.
“Marcus Lee informed us today that he is pulling his name out of the draft but has decided he is going to transfer to a school out west to be closer to his family,” Calipari said. “We talked it through together and discussed the team next season, which he said had no bearing on his decision. I also told him he was a semester away from graduating. With that said, he was still adamant that, after the combine experience, a year off and regrouping would be the best thing. As always I support my players and their decisions.”
Since Marcus Lee had still yet to graduate, he will likely have to sit out the 2016-17 season before getting to play his final year of eligibility.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports