Photo credits:Bleacher Report
Leading question right now for all UK fans.... The typical “who’s staying and who’s leaving?” post-season. Last week, Coach Cal said that 5 would enter the NBA draft but were not signing with agents and could potentially return. We have a few updates on what we think will happen with all 5 players...
It is very possible that all 5 players will be leaving for the draft and not returning. After doing some digging and speaking to MULTIPLE sources, the people around UK's program fully expect this to be the case. Yes, that means Imannuel Quickley and EJ Montgomery. As we wrote earlier in the week, Guard Johnny Juzang will be transferring. We will also lose Nate Sestina as he is a graduating senior and the NCAA announced today that winter athletes will not receive an extra year eligibility. With that being said, I expect to see Dontie Allen and Keion Brooks as the only returning scholarship players. Both are exciting players we would love to have back and Kentucky has by far the best recruiting class in the country. We expect Kentucky to go after a few grad transfers as well.
So, what will the team to look like next year? Allen and Brooks will return. I expect both to get playing time but Brooks will play a much greater roll than Allen. UK has 6 incoming players. I can personally see these broken up into three tiers. Terrance Clarke and BJ Boston are Elite talents and are possibly two of the best offensive players we have had at UK in a long time. Cal has been missing on a lot of top 5 incoming prospects recently but did not miss with Boston or Clark as they are both rated in the Top 5. The next tier would be Devin Askew and Isaiah Jackson, both will receive a great amount of playing time and will be a good contribution to the team next season. Neither are projected ‘one and done’ guys. The next tier would be Lance Ware and Cam Fletcher as they are both extremely hard workers and have a lot potential but they are gonna be at UK a few years. I believe they will play a greater role later on in their careers.
Graphic credits:Kentucky Mens Basketball and TGT
Cal will not want to sit with just 8 players because we saw where that got us this year. His options would be to find a few grad transfers or get a few guys to reclassify in high school. Names to keep on your radar would be Bryce Aiken, Hardy, Grant Golden, or a pie in the sky situation with either Palo Banchero or Jonathan Kuminga reclassifying. Also, Kentucky is still not out of the mix for Greg Brown.
One thing I would say to Kentucky fans “trust Cal”.