Mark Pope visits G League Elite Camp, scouts two elite transfers
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Mark Pope visits G League Elite Camp, scouts two elite transfers

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According to Kevin Sweeney of Sports Illustrated, Mark Pope, the coach of New Kentucky, attended the NBA G League Elite Camp in Chicago over the weekend with an eye toward two high-profile transfers.

The G League Elite Camp, which is like to the NBA Draft Combine, features second-tier draft prospects in a combine environment. This year’s camp included Miami player Wooga Poplar and Kentucky transfer portal target Chaz Lanier of North Florida.
Lanier and Poplar can return to school by withdrawing from the 2024 NBA Draft before May 29.

Matt Norlander of CBS Sports reports that Lanier, who is rated by 247Sports as the No. 3 shooting guard and the No. 11 transfer, looks to be in good condition at Kentucky.

“Chaz Lanier of North Florida is not a household name, but big schools are pursuing him,” Norlander stated in a recent episode of Gary Parrish’s Eye on College Basketball Podcast. “And it’s looking like that might be Kentucky, and if it’s not Kentucky, it’s Tennessee, and if it’s not Tennessee, it might be BYU.”
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard, who spent four seasons with the Ospreys, announced earlier in the season that he will explore his options in the 2024 NBA Draft. On April 24, he made his transfer portal debut.

In addition to Kentucky, Lanier is also receiving interest from BYU, Cincinnati, Duke, Florida Atlantic, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Villanova and West Virginia.

Lanier finished the season as a senior for North Florida, starting 31 of 32 games. He averaged 19.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, shooting 51.0% from the field, 44.0% from three-point range, and 86.4% from the free throw line.

With 15 games of 20 points or more and four games of 30 points or more—35 against North Alabama, 33 against Appalachian State and Bellarmine, and 30 against Charleston Southern—he scored in double figures in 31 out of 32 games.

He scored a season-high 35 points in a loss to North Alabama, had two 33-point performances, a 30-point night and logged one double-double.

Over four collegiate seasons, all at North Florida, Lanier has appeared in 104 games with 49 starts, holding career averages of 8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists while shooting 40.7% from 3 and 86.4% from the free throw line. He’s 71 points shy of becoming a 1,000-point scorer.

Poplar, meanwhile, is ranked as the No. 19 overall transfer and No. 5 shooting guard in the portal by 247Sports.

Poplar played in all 29 games for Miami this season as a junior, starting all of them. He averaged a career-high 13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while shooting 42.6% from the field, 38.5% from three, and 86.4% from the free throw line. In a win over La Salle, he recorded a season-high 25 points. During a defeat to Kentucky at Rupp Arena, he scored 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Throughout the season, he recorded three double-doubles, including a 13-point and 11-rebound effort in a victory over Georgia.

In 2022–23, Poplar was a sophomore with the Hurricanes, starting 36 of 37 games. He averaged 8.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals, and a 37.5% field goal percentage. He scored 16 points in an Elite Eight victory over Texas, which enabled Miami to go to its first-ever Final Four.

Poplar has played in 100 career games with 65 starts throughout his three college seasons, all with the Hurricanes. He averages 7.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 36.5% from beyond the arc with over 100 career three-pointers.

Kentucky is not the only school recruiting him; other colleges include St. John’s, Kansas, Villanova, Temple, Ole Miss, Florida State, and Arizona State.

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