On Wednesday, Kentucky junior Marcus Lee announced that he would pull out of the NBA Draft, and would transfer for his senior year, which, because of NCAA rules, would mean he would sit next season, and play in 2017-18.
On Sunday, a source close to the California basketball program confirmed reports confirmed that Lee will visit Berkeley this coming Tuesday -- the school that finished second for the 6-foot-9, 224-pound forward back in 2013.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a statement that Lee -- out of Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley -- wanted to be "closer to his family."
Neither Lee nor his brother, Bryan, returned calls by BearTerritory for comment on this story, but CBS's John Rothstein, citing an anonymous source, reported that Lee will commit to the Bears “unless something crazy happens.”
“We talked it through together and discussed the team next season, which he said had no bearing on his decision," Calipari said in the statement. "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.”
“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," Lee said in a statement of his own. "I’ll always think fondly of my time at Kentucky.”
Coming out of high school, Lee was a McDonald's All-American, a Scout five-star center, the No. 1 prospect at his position in the West region, and No. 3 overall at his position in the nation. He was Scout's No. 24 overall prospect in the 2013 class.
As a junior this past season, Lee averaged 6.4 points per game on 68% shooting, with six rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
As was expected by several members of Cal's former coaching staff, Lee was recruited over at Kentucky, and averaged 21.8 minutes per game, though he only averaged 4.2 field goals attempted per game. As a freshman, he averaged 6.3 minutes, shooting 61.9% and scoring 2.4 points per game. As a sophomore, he averaged 10.9 minutes and 2.6 points per game, adding 2.7 rebounds and 0.7 blocks, while shooting 64.4% from the field.
While Ivan Rabb -- who decided to return for his sophomore season -- would presumably not be around by the time Lee is eligible to play, he will join Kingsley Okoroh, Kameron Rooks and Roman Davis in the Cal frontcourt.
The Bears currently have no scholarships left for the 2016-17 season, after signing point guard Charlie Moore and Columbia graduate transfer Grant Mullins, along with JuCo point guard Dontae Coleman. Moore signed his financial aid agreement on May 20, while Mullins signed on April 29.null