Ex-Kentucky star Adou Thiero joining John Calipari at Arkansas

Adou Thiero gets up for the beautiful jam (0:21)

Adou Thiero gets up for the beautiful jam (0:21)

Former Kentucky forward Adou Thiero, a projected first-round NBA draft pick in 2025, is following John Calipari and will transfer to Arkansas, he told ESPN on Monday.

Thiero considered a long list of schools, narrowing it down last month to Pitt, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina and the Razorbacks.

"I started with Coach Cal and want to see it through with him," he said. "Very excited to join the family and ready to get to work."

A 6-foot-8 forward from Leetsdale, Pennsylvania, Thiero is ranked No. 27 in ESPN's 2025 NBA draft rankings. He started 19 games this past season for Calipari at Kentucky, averaging 7.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21.3 minutes. Some of the sophomore's best contributions came in the Wildcats' toughest games, putting up 16 points and 13 rebounds against Kansas in the Champions Classic; 15 points, 5 boards and 3 blocks against Gonzaga; and 14 points and 8 rebounds in a win over Auburn.

Thiero took a clear step forward from his freshman season, when he averaged 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 20 games.

His development under Calipari and familiarity with the Hall of Fame head coach gave Arkansas the edge for his commitment.

"He's known for putting guys in the NBA that also stay in the NBA and coach Kenny Payne, who is now with him again, was also there for some of those years," Thiero said. "After already playing for him and developing after two years, I feel that he knows my game and will put me in the right position to succeed and achieve my goals."

Thiero becomes the fifth player to follow Calipari from Lexington to Fayetteville, joining incoming freshmen Boogie Fland, Karter Knox and Billy Richmond and rising sophomore center Zvonimir Ivisic. The Razorbacks are also bringing in top-five transfer Johnell Davis from Florida Atlantic and all-SEC big man Jonas Aidoo from Tennessee.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA Draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and International teams.