After earlier indicating he would play for Kentucky next season, Devin Askew announced Monday that he planned to transfer.

“I am thankful for the opportunity I had to play basketball at the University of Kentucky,” Askew said in a story posted by 247Sports. “I am also thankful for the coaching staff as they provided an experience that contributed to my development in this game I love. My teammates will be my friends forever and I appreciate how they pushed me day in and day out to get better.

“With that being said, it will be part of my growth in this game to explore a new opportunity and enter the transfer portal.”

More than once during the season UK Coach John Calipari had saluted Askew’s competitive spirit. In a news release, Calipari lamented Askew’s departure.

“This is the part of the business I hate,” Calipari said. “I wish I could coach every kid for four years, but I have to respect Devin’s decision and I do. I will always be here to help him. My hope — and I told him this — is that he takes the fight he learned here with him wherever he goes. He was a great teammate and improved in so many ways as the season wore on. I will be rooting for Devin as he takes this next step.”

Askew was regarded as the No. 1 point guard prospect in the high school class of 2021. He reclassified to the 2020 class.

Askew averaged 6.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists as a freshman for UK. He also had a 73-to-50 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Speculation quickly emerged that Kentucky adding a graduate transfer from Davidson, guard Kellan Grady, might have influenced Askew’s decision to leave.

UK has also been linked to Marcus Carr, a guard who played a season for Pittsburgh and then the last two seasons for Minnesota.

Carr, a 6-foot-2 guard, has scored 1,041 points in his three-season college career. He has entered his name in this year’s NBA Draft. But Carr left open the option of playing in the 2021-22 college season.

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