One of the top-ranked prospects in the nation at the shooting guard position in the class of 2018, Tyler Herro caused considerable noise in the college basketball world by decommitting to Wisconsin and deciding to take his talents to the Kentucky Wildcats.
Tyler Herro: Why Did the Kentucky Guard Decommit from Wisconsin?
Details surrounding the exact reasons as to why Herro backed out of his commitment to Wisconsin are a bit murky. At the time of his initial verbal commitment to Wisconsin, Herro didn’t have an offer on the table from Kentucky and wasn’t expecting one to come through.
However, USA Today provided a bit more of an in-depth look as to how Calipari was able to snatch Herro from the jaws of Wisconsin.
It had been a busy 24 hours for Calipari, but he was intent on seeing Herro in person. Kentucky defeated Morehead State in an exhibition the night before, and Calipari woke up Tuesday morning in Lexington, rode an hour in an SUV to speak to the Greater Louisville UK Alumni Club and then had a choice to make.
He could board a plane with Payne to Wisconsin to meet Herro or travel to South Carolina with assistant Joel Justus to see Zion Williamson, the five-star small forward and No. 2 overall senior in the country.
Calipari chose Milwaukee. He had to see those 3-pointers in person, and (once Herro’s talent was assessed), Calipari preferred to make the scholarship offer in front of the entire family.
The offer came as a shock to Herro and his family, with his father going as far to tell himself in an internal dialogue, “Jesus Christ, my son is going to Kentucky”.
The Impact of Tyler Herro’s Decommit and How it Impacted Kentucky & Wisconsin
Herro’s decision would go on to set the two programs on entirely different paths for the 2018-2019 season. The Wildcats enjoyed a wildly successful season in which Herro played a significant role. The team’s second leading scorer, Herro flashed the elite multi-level scoring that made him a top prospect while making a defensive impact on the perimeter. While coach Calipari’s Kentucky teams can usually rely on a strong defense, offense and consistent shooting are typically the Achilles heel for the Wildcats. The addition of Herro has helped to provide a major steadying force in terms of consistent offensive production.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Badgers didn’t have a terrible year, however, it wasn’t up to the standards Badger Nation has become accustomed to. The Badgers were a force with Ethan Happ down low but struggled to find consistent guard play to help offer a balanced offensive attack. The addition of Herro would have filled a gaping hole for the Badgers and offered them a much more dynamic and well-rounded offensive gameplan. Especially against Oregon in the first round of the NCAA tournament when the Badgers couldn’t score a bucket to save their life, Herro’s presence would have been a warm welcome.