Marcus Lee out of draft, transferring to school closer to his family

Wade Upchurch Photo

Wade Upchurch Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s basketball junior forward Marcus Lee will remove his name from the 2016 NBA Draft but plans to transfer to complete his collegiate eligibility at another school.

Upon completing his paperwork to withdraw from the draft, Lee will be granted a full release with no restrictions.

“Marcus Lee informed us today that he is pulling his name out of the draft but has decided he is going to transfer to a school out west to be closer to his family,” head coach John Calipari said. “We talked it through together and discussed the team next season, which he said had no bearing on his decision. 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.”

Lee enjoyed the best season of his Kentucky career during his junior campaign where he boasted career highs in points per game (6.4), rebounds per game (6.0), total blocks (59) and total assists (11). He shot a team-best 68.0 percent from the floor, the best single-season field-goal percentage in school history with a minimum of 150 attempts. His 216 total rebounds were the most on the team, and he led the team in blocked shots in a team-high 18 games.

“I want to thank the University of Kentucky, the basketball staff and the Big Blue Nation for supporting me over the years,” Lee said. “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. I’ll always think fondly of my time at Kentucky.”

Lee ranks 20th all-time with 100 career blocked shots. He averaged 3.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots in 100 career games at Kentucky.

A two-time Southeastern Conference Community Service Team member, Lee recently concluded participation in the 2016 NCAA Leadership Forum where he was the SEC’s male representative at the weekend-long conference.


  1. I am sad about Marcus’ decision. I was looking forward to him being a leader for this young team next year. Sitting out a year will give him the opportunity to correct the weaker parts of his game. I’ll always appreciate his positive outlook and hope that he finds his dream, even if he leaves Lexington to achieve it.

    1. If you saw leadership from Lee while he was here, then you must have a lot better vision than I do. I think his decision is best for Marcus and the team. He’s had a couple of years to develop an offense away from the rim and to shoot a higher % of fouls, and he really didn’t improve in either category after going against some of the best talent at college level in practice everyday. It would seem he came in a little over-hyped in the beginning and maybe showed his real talent in the process he just went through. He had some “good shows” while he was here but may have had a few more “no shows”. Hopefully his decision will work out the best for him and his family moving forward. Can you imagine him possibly coming back to Rupp in a KU uniform? I wonder why Bill Self was motivated to jump on the “offer” bandwagon?

  2. Don’t blame him one bit. Wish Marcus all the best. A new team every year is the way it works at UK in this era. Marcus hung around longer than most. He gave BBN some fond memories. I never believed he would come back for another year at Kentucky and start all over with a loaded roster of incoming stars.

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