Kentucky freshman Zvonimir Ivisic enters transfer portal

Kentucky freshman Zvonimir Ivisic entered the transfer portal on Saturday, becoming the first UK player to leave the program since Mark Pope was named head coach.

Ivisic, a 7-foot-2 center from Croatia, had one of the most anticipated debuts of any newcomer this past season -- and then "Big Z" produced an eye-opening display in his first college game.

Hours after the NCAA cleared him to play on the morning of Jan. 20, Ivisic suited up for the Wildcats against Georgia. In the first five minutes of his career, he had 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocks, making all three of his 3-point attempts. Kentucky was plus-22 on the scoreboard during that five-minute stretch.

Ivisic finished the 105-96 win over Georgia with 13 points, five rebounds, two assists, three blocks and two steals in 16 minutes off the bench.

The freshman had an inconsistent role the rest of the season, but showed flashes of his enormous potential. Ivisic had 11 points and seven rebounds against Vanderbilt; 18 points, five rebounds and four blocks against Alabama; and 12 points and nine rebounds against Arkansas.

In 15 games, Ivisic averaged 5.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks, shooting 37.5% from 3-point range.

While Ivisic is the first player to enter the portal since Pope was officially hired on Friday, there has been plenty of roster movement since John Calipari left for Arkansas earlier in the week. Guard Rob Dillingham entered the NBA draft, center Aaron Bradshaw entered the transfer portal and three of the six players in Kentucky's No. 2-ranked recruiting class have decommitted and reopened their recruitments.