Kentucky has expressed interest in a new player in the transfer portal — and it’s a name you might recognize.
Isaiah Miranda was previously a target for the Wildcats in the class of 2023, taking a visit to Lexington back in December 2021 and maintaining regular contact with assistant coach Orlando Antigua.
“When I went there, I was stargazed,” Miranda previously told KSR. “Seeing everything they’ve done for people my size, how they utilize everybody and use the staff, nutritionists and everything, it was a crazy step into the next level.”
A scholarship offer never came to fruition and the versatile 7-foot-1 center wound up signing with NC State, enrolling early as a member of the 2022 signing class. He would become eligible to participate starting in December, but never took the floor for the Wolfpack, using his freshman season as a redshirt year. He then declared for the NBA Draft while maintaining his college eligibility to open the offseason before ultimately entering the transfer portal this week.
Among the schools to express interest in the standout big man? Kentucky, with the Wildcats joining Central Florida, Florida State, Georgetown, High Point, LSU, McNeese State, Nevada, Oklahoma State, San Jose State, St. John’s and Villanova, a source close to Miranda tells KSR.
Orlando Antigua, like in his original high school recruitment, reached out on behalf of UK.
Miranda, a native of Pawtucket, R.I. and a former standout with Rhode Island Elite, was recently seen working out with current Kentucky center Ugonna Onyenso. Could the two team up in Lexington in 2023-24? Early conversations have begun.
Miranda was originally rated as the No. 40 overall prospect and No. 6 center in the 2022 On3 Industry Ranking, a proprietary algorithm that compiles ratings and rankings from all four primary recruiting media services. He committed to NC State over offers from USC, Georgetown, Louisville, UCLA, UConn, Syracuse, LSU and Washington, among others.
“I’m a good guy that likes to play basketball, can do multiple things, not just like a typical big man,” Miranda previously told KSR. “I feel like most people criticize me as a typical big man when they get a first glance of me, but as you can see, I can really play the more you watch me. I bring the energy for sure. Definitely have the best energy, that’s for sure.”
Kentucky’s top priority is getting back Oscar Tshiebwe, who is currently testing the draft waters. Should he keep his name in and forgo the remainder of his eligibility, the Wildcats have also reached out to Kansas transfer Zuby Ejiofor, while Onyenso and five-star center Aaron Bradshaw are signed on for the upcoming season as well.
Miranda provides another option for Kentucky, important considering the program also lost junior big man Lance Ware to the transfer portal. The Wildcats need bodies, and it’d be hard to complain about one as talented and versatile as the 7-foot-1 center from NC State.
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