Kentucky adds PG Kerr Kriisa and sharpshooter Koby Brea as new coach Mark Pope reshapes roster

MORGANTOWN, WV - MARCH 02: Kerr Kriisa #3 of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts after hitting a three against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the first half at the WVU Coliseum on March 2, 2024 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Kerr Kriisa spent one season at West Virginia after transferring from Arizona. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

New Kentucky coach Mark Pope is remaking the Wildcats’ roster through the transfer portal.

Kentucky got commitments from former Arizona and West Virginia guard Kerr Kriisa and Dayton guard Koby Brea on Wednesday after securing a commitment from San Diego State guard Lamont Butler last week.

Kriisa spent a year at West Virginia after transferring from Arizona. He committed to the team when Bob Huggins was still in charge and stayed in Morgantown after considering another transfer following Huggins’ departure. He averaged 11 points and 4.7 assists per game over 23 games while shooting over 42% from behind the 3-point line. Kriisa missed the first nine games of the season because of NCAA violations that occurred while he was at Arizona.

Brea was the best 3-point shooter in college basketball a season ago. He averaged 11 points a game and shot nearly 50% from behind the arc on over six attempts a game. Brea was 100 of 201 from 3 and took just 45 2-point attempts. He was the only player in college basketball a season ago to come close to shooting 50% from the field with 100 made 3s.

"Growing up, I was told I was dreaming too big whenever I'd say my dream was to play for the University of Kentucky," Brea told ESPN about his transfer. "I feel like God does everything for a reason, and He has put me in a position where I'm able to play for my dream school in my last year of college, while playing for something bigger than myself."

Brea’s shooting took a big leap forward in 2023-24. He shot just 37% from the 3-point line in 2022-23 after shooting 42% on 149 attempts as a sophomore in 2021-22. Both Brea and Kriisa will likely have a green light to shoot a bunch of 3s next season too. Pope's BYU team was second in the country with 32 3-point shots attempted per game in 2023-24.

They join Butler as the newest additions in Lexington after the San Diego State player committed in April. Butler averaged 9.3 points per game in 2023-24 and is most known to casual fans as the player who hit the buzzer-beater for the Aztecs in the 2023 Final Four. Butler’s game-winner sent San Diego State to the national title game over Florida Atlantic before the Aztecs lost to UConn in the national title game.

Overall, Kentucky has added six players through the transfer portal since Pope arrived from BYU to replace John Calipari. Five of those six players ranked in the top 65 according to Rivals’ transfer portal rankings, and the top-rated transfer for the Wildcats is former Drexel center Amari Williams.

Williams, the No. 3 transfer in the country, averaged over 12 points and nearly eight rebounds a game in 2023-24 while shooting 52% from the field.