John Calipari turned to a familiar face for the first commitment of his Arkansas tenure.

The first Hog pledge to play for Calipari comes from Kentucky transfer Zvonimir “Big Z” Ivisic.

Ivisic took to social media on Monday to share that while he was impressed with new Kentucky coach Mark Pope, he has decided not to return to UK and follow Cal to Fayetteville.

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“Today I met with Coach Pope and had a great meeting with him. He’s an amazing guy and a great coach and he will do big things here! After our conversation I informed him that | will not be returning to Kentucky,” Ivisic wrote in a note posted to his Instagram story.

“Big Blue Nation, my amazing teammates, love you and this has been the best experience a kid from Croatia could ask for coming to the US. You took me as one of your own since the first moment and the love just grew! From the bilboard to countless other things you’ve done to show love. I mean, come on. Who does that? I will forever be grateful for that and it will have a special place in my heart.

“With all that being said, I made the lifetime decision to come to college for (a) few reasons. Main ones to win a national championship and go to the NBA. Monumental part of that decision was Coach Cal, and no one does both of those at the same time than him. That’s why I am excited to announce that I am committing to Coach Cal and Arkansas Razorbacks! Woo Pig Sooie!!!”

Will Ivisic be an impact transfer for Arkansas?

It’s no surprise that Calipari wanted Ivisic on his Arkansas roster. Calipari was heavily invested in getting Ivisic eligible during the 2023-24 campaign.

Ivisic did not become eligibile until Jan. 20. Kentucky was already into SEC play when Ivisic made his blue and white debut. In that UGA game, Ivisic had 13 points while playing just 16 minutes, draining a trio of triples.

For the season, Ivisic averaged 5.5 points and 3.3 rebounds over 15 games, playing in 176 minutes. While those stats won’t turn many heads, Ivisic did manage double-digit scoring in 3 more SEC contests after the Georgia game. He had a season-high 18 points in Kentucky’s 117-95 win over Alabama.

Basketball fans everywhere will be watching closely to see what Calipari can get from Big Z in Year 2.