LEXINGTON, Ky. (BVM) – When Sahvir Wheeler transferred to Kentucky in 2021, many thought he could be one of the missing pieces to the Wildcats’ first Final Four appearance since 2015. While he was good, Wheeler’s two seasons in Lexington ended up falling short of expectations for some.
A four-star guard out of Houston, Wheeler began his college career at Georgia after decommitting from Texas A&M. In his first season in Athens, the 5-foot-9 guard set a freshman program record for assists (139) while averaging nine points per game as he played alongside eventual No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Anthony Edwards.
With Edwards off to the pros, Wheeler took full control of Georgia’s offense under Tom Crean in 2020-21, averaging 14 points, 7.4 assists and nearly four rebounds as a second-team All-SEC player. He also became the first player to record a triple-double in program history.
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) February 24, 2021
Looking like a budding star, Wheeler decided to leave Georgia for greener pastures at Kentucky. In 29 starts during his first season in Lexington, Wheeler continued to prove his talent.
— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) May 17, 2021
During the non-conference schedule, he put up a season-high 26 points against North Carolina. Just weeks before, the point guard posted a career-high in assists (14), one of five double-digit assist games he had on the year. Overall, he averaged 10.1 points and 6.9 assists on the season as a Bob Cousy Award finalist.
However, Wheeler and Kentucky faltered in March, as the Wildcats were shocked by No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s in the opening round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Still, the talented guard decided to run it back with Kentucky for his senior season.
Throughout the beginning of the 2022-23 campaign, Wheeler was solid as he split time with freshman guard Cason Wallace, averaging just shy of 10 points and 6.3 assists through Kentucky’s first 15 games.
1,000 career points and counting for @sahvir_ …
Including a few big buckets yesterday 😼 pic.twitter.com/SG7zC0PgUh
— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 5, 2022
By mid January, the guard was seeing less playing time, however, taking the floor for just 11 minutes against his former team in Georgia, just eight minutes against Texas A&M the game after, and only 15 minutes in Kentucky’s loss to Kansas at the end of the month.
A lot of the limited action can be pinned on a shoulder injury Wheeler suffered midway through that month. Not long after, what would prove to be his final game in a Kentucky uniform came on Feb. 4 against Florida, as the guard sat out the Wildcats’ last 11 contests after he also suffered an ankle injury.
With a team that was on the cusp of a Sweet 16 bid, Wheeler may have been the piece to take them over the top. Instead, he will now seek to play for his third school in the past four years, as it was recently announced that Wheeler has entered the transfer portal.
I talked with Sahvir a few days ago and he decided that he wants to graduate and play one more year because of the injuries he faced this year. He also wanted a fresh start, and I supported his decision. Sahvir has been a big part of our team and we wish him nothing but the best.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) March 27, 2023
Instantly, he becomes one of the most talented guards available in the portal, but is undoubtedly coming off a tough season marred by injuries. Where can the point guard go to get his college basketball career back on track? Here are a few options.