Mark Pope Adds Another Veteran With Transfer Ansley Almonor of Fairleigh Dickinson


Fairleigh Dickinson Photo

Don’t worry about Kentucky being the youngest team in the nation during the 2024-25 basketball season. New UK coach Mark Pope is building a veteran lineup through the transfer portal and added another veteran Thursday in Fairleigh Dickinson transfer Ansley Almoner, a 6-7 forward who has made 65 combined starts the last two seasons.

Six of Pope’s new Cats will be fifth-year seniors — Lamont Butler, Amari Williams, Kerr Krissa, Andrew Carr, Koby Brea, and Almonor.

Obviously, 3-point shooting matters, too, as Krista has 238 career 3’s while Brea has 224, Almoner 166, Butler 101, and Carr 94.

Almoner is not a highly rated transfer but Pope obviously sees him as a good fit and now gives UK 11 players on next year’s roster.

He started 34 games as a sophomore and averaged 13.6 points per game, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. He helped the Knights to a First Four victory in the NCAA Tournament over Texas Southern with 23 points and eight rebounds. The next game Fairleigh Dickinson upset No. 1 seed Purdue and he had two steals, two rebounds and one point in the win.

Last season he made 31 more starts and averaged 16.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 43.6 percent from the field, 39.4 percent from three on 236 attempts and 80 percent at the free throw line.

Almonor and Wake Forest transfer Carr give Kentucky two experienced power forwards.

Kentucky coaches have indicated they likely will use 12 scholarships and save one in case an unexpected difference-maker type player becomes available in the summer.

Kentucky is still actively recruiting transfers Jaxson Robinson of BYU, Chaz Lanier of North Florida and Wooga Poplar of Miami. Robinson has been a top target but he’s still in the NBA Draft and has until the end of the month to remove his name to retain his collegiate eligibility for next season.

3 Responses

  1. Jamie Vinson would fill the biggest need that we have left. He will be on campus Monday and Tuesday. Will he be willing to be Carr’s backup or go where he can be a starter? The days of OAD are pretty much over as more experienced teams are winning championships. The trend seems to be that of going to a small or mid major program where you will be assured immediate PT and then transfer to a division one school. The new OAD will be fifth years seniors looking to boost their draft stock with one last year of eligibility.

  2. Any player good enough for Coach Pope to select him, then that’s all I need to know.

    The total of ppg transfers averaged in 2023-24 is 92.5 to date. Add the ppg of Perry, Noah & Chandler and the scoring power is very present & well distributed.

    Pope envisions a puzzle with pieces who can step in and maintain consistency at both ends of the floor, with fresh legs hitting on all cylinders, hitting 3’s, inside and playing intense D.

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