Aly Khalifa will transfer to Louisville

The BYU big man is heading to Louisville to play for the rebuilding Cardinals.
Khalifa celebrates hitting a 3 against Wyoming during non-conference play
Khalifa celebrates hitting a 3 against Wyoming during non-conference play / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

Like many fans suspected, Aly Khalifa is taking his talents to the state of Kentucky, but unlike anyone suspected, he won't be joining Mark Pope in Lexington. Khalifa announced on Thursday that he'd be transferring to Louisville instead of his other top 3 choices, Kentucky or BYU.

Conspiracy theorists are surprised by Khalifa's decision to join Louisville, as a popular idea circulated online that he only included Louisville on his top 3 to give Kentucky an empty recruiting win over a rival program. Clearly, that was not the case.

Khalifa's one-year lease is over for the Cougs. His addition to the team was shockingly impactful, as Mark Pope built his offense around Khalifa's passing ability much like Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. His passing vision sliced defenses into pieces and force-fed open shots to his teammates. As stated in a previous article, if BYU's offense was a Japanese Steakhouse, Khalifa was the Hibachi chef, tossing chunks of meat to his teammates' open mouths while dazzling with his onion volcanoes and technical wizardry.

The big man has received plenty of recent criticism after a disappointing outing in BYU's first-round exit to Duquesne. Though Khalifa was fasting for Ramadan during the Tournament, that hasn't stopped basketball "experts" on the internet from letting negativity bias overshadow the great season Khalifa had with the Cougars.

No matter what you read online, I plead with you to remember Khalifa for his unique skillset and incredible performances against Baylor, UCF, and Texas Tech. He was one of the Cougars' most impactful players, and I won't stand for the idea that Khalifa's no-show in the tournament was indicative of his value to the team.

His assist-to-turnover ratio was the best among centers in college hoops and 7th nationally. Of the top 50 players in the assist-to-turnover metric, Khalifa stands alone as a singular big man among 49 guards.

Khalifa was quick to share his appreciation for his time at BYU with a social media post that touched on his gratitude for being embraced like family during his stint in Provo.

I'm going to miss gushing about Khalifa's unique skillset with my friends, as I doubt I'll be tuning in to many Louisville games to keep up with his career. Khalifa played through a knee injury this last season, which limited his mobility significantly. He was planning to undergo surgery to clean up his knee issues, and I was looking forward to seeing a faster Khalifa suiting up for the Cougars.

This transfer is one that most fans have reached inner peace about, but it's tough to see a fan favorite in Khalifa exit the program despite the exciting direction the team is moving in. We wish the best of luck to Aly Khalifa in his collegiate career, and can't thank him enough for everything he gave us as a Cougar.

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