Freshman Kahlil Whitney leaves Kentucky as role diminishes

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Whitney assesses his options, then buries a triple (0:18)

Kahlil Whitney looks for a teammate to pass to, then decides to hit a 3-pointer with a defender in his face. (0:18)

Kentucky freshman Kahlil Whitney, who was a five-star prospect, announced Friday that he is leaving the program.

"At this time, after several conversations with my family and coaching staff, I regret to announce that I will be leaving the University of Kentucky," Whitney wrote in a statement on Twitter.

"Like so many others, playing at UK had always been a dream of mine. I truly believed Coach [John] Calipari and his program, was the best fit to assist in preparing me for that next step in my basketball career. Unfortunately, my time at Kentucky has not gone as I had hoped, and I therefore need to make a difficult decision quickly to put myself back in to the best position possible as I continue to develop and work towards my ultimate goal."

Whitney started the first seven games of the season, but his role had steadily diminished. He had scored just three points in SEC play and played just four minutes total over Kentucky's past two games. He will end his freshman season averaging 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds per game.

A McDonald's All American in the 2019 class, Whitney is a 6-foot-7 small forward from Chicago. He was ranked No. 12 in the ESPN 100.

His potential transfer has been rumored for several weeks among industry sources. If Whitney transfers to another Division I school, expect Georgetown to be in the mix. Illinois, which was among his final four schools before choosing Kentucky, could be another destination.

Whitney could also explore his professional options, as he was ranked No. 55 in ESPN's latest NBA draft rankings.