The one-and-done defections for Kentucky grew by one on Wednesday when former five-star forward Jarred Vanderbilt announced he was keeping his name in the NBA Draft and passing up his remaining college eligibility. He becomes the fourth and final UK freshmen to bounce from Lexington to the NBA off of last season's roster.

It wasn't all losses for John Calipari on Wednesday, though Vanderbilt's final-hour decision was a blow compounded by learning earlier in the day that Wenyen Gabriel, too, was keeping his name in the draft. Fellow freshman P.J. Washington sprinkled in a bit of good news by announcing that he is bucking the trend and will be a rare sophomore returnee for the Wildcats, guaranteeing Kentucky to boast a fearsome frontcourt in 2018-19.

Kevin KnoxF15.6
Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderG14.4
Hamidou DialloG10
Wenyan GabrielF6.8
Jarred VanderbiltF5.9
Sacha Killeya-JonesF3.3
Tai WynyardF1
PJ WashingtonF10.8
Quade GreenG9.3
Nick RichardsF5.1
Brad CalipariG0.3
Jemarl BakerGN/A

So of UK's 2017 recruiting class that ranked second nationally, half are NBA-bound and the other are returning for another go-round. That's a hefty turnover for most programs (and let's face it, it's a lot for what was an eight-man class), but for Kentucky, four of eight returning is the highest ratio of returning players since it retained four of its seven Class of 2015 signees for the 2016-17 season.

During that season, Kentucky's Final Four bid came up two points shy against North Carolina -- the team of destiny that would go on to cut down the nets. But this time around? Kentucky's got the look and feel of a Final Four squad, even with the losses of Vanderbilt and Gabriel. And even factoring them into the grand mass exodus that includes freshmen Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo, who already signed with agents ahead of deadline day.

As is always the case with Kentucky, it will once again be bringing in a stellar recruiting class that has pieces expected to make large contributions in 2018-19. Five-star forward E.J. Montgomery will absolutely soften the blow of losing Vanderbilt, though he won't space the floor quite like Gabriel did. And five-stars Keldon Johnson and Immanuel Quickley, a small forward and point guard, respectively, figure to be plug-and-play prospects for John Calipari.

If you'll allow me a quick honesty minute, I'll say this about the past day's developments: Kentucky's title hopes are more tied to its recruiting class stars -- how Quickley and Montgomery develop -- rather than the return of Washington or losses of Vanderbilt and Gabriel.

But if you factor in that incoming class with the return of Washington, Quade Green, Jemarl Baker and Nick Richards, suddenly UK has a dangerous roster that will be deep, talented, and in the standard of Kentucky's world, experienced. Things could only improve if prized graduate transfer Reid Travis, a Stanford product considering UK, lands with the Wildcats to fill a role as a do-it-all big man.

Deadline day has been a day of lost hope for many teams and their title hopes for the following season. But at Kentucky, hopes and dreams for another title are perfectly intact -- and they look plenty capable enough to turn hopes into reality in 2018-19.