No. 1 men's basketball prospect Shaedon Sharpe to enroll early with Kentucky Wildcats, won't play until 2022-23 season

No. 1 overall prospect Shaedon Sharpe will be arriving at Kentucky earlier than expected -- but he still won't play for the Wildcats until next season.

Sharpe plans to graduate from high school early and enroll at Kentucky after the fall semester. He will work out and practice with the Wildcats, but won't play in games and will take a redshirt year. He plans to suit up for games during the 2022-23 season.

It's not an unfamiliar path for John Calipari's program, as Hamidou Diallo enrolled at Kentucky in January 2017 before sitting out the rest of the season and playing in 2017-18.

"I just want to get a head start on college basketball and train with older, bigger, stronger and better players," Sharpe told SI about his decision. "It just makes more sense to me to go play where I can elevate my game the most. This is something I came up with, and when I told the coaches they were all-in."

Sharpe committed to Kentucky in early September, choosing the Wildcats over Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma State and G League Ignite.

A 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Canada who attends Dream City Christian (Arizona), Sharpe vaulted to the No. 1 spot in the 2022 class following a dominant summer. He led the Nike EYBL circuit in scoring, averaging 22.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 12 games with the UPlay Canada program. Sharpe shot 55.6% from inside the arc and 36.1% from 3-point range, making 2.5 3-pointers per game.

Sharpe was the centerpiece of Kentucky's No. 1 recruiting class, with fellow five-stars Cason Wallace, Chris Livingston and Skyy Clark also committed to Calipari and the Wildcats.

Kentucky has two seniors on its roster this season, but freshmen TyTy Washington and Daimion Collins are also ranked in the top 20 of ESPN's 2022 NBA draft rankings. Sharpe will be expected to come in next season and immediately be a go-to guy offensively, with the likes of Sahvir Wheeler, Keion Brooks, Oscar Tshiebwe and others also potentially returning for the Wildcats.