Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to this rather abbreviated version of the Tuesday Morning Quickies. I’m doing the work of two for the next week or two as an employee recovers from knee surgery, so this will have to be rather brief.
The big news this today is threefold: the matriculation of a top 10 2018 big man, E.J. Montgomery, to Kentucky, and the loss of Sacha Killeya-Jones and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and the just-now commitment of 2019 5-star guard Ashton Hagans to the Wildcats. Whatever shall we do without hyphenated surnames at Kentucky? I don’t think I can wrap my mind around it.
Anyway, Montgomery was almost certainly the impetus for the departure of Killeya-Jones, who was suddenly faced with another potential season of limited minutes due to having two more talented guys playing in front of him. I not only don’t blame him for going, I think it was a smart move — it worked out really well for Charles Matthews, and may work out nearly as well for Killeya-Jones if he plays his cards right.
Montgomery filled a big need for Kentucky, if not an urgent one. He’s got size, athleticism, the potential for perimeter skill, a good post-up game and looks like the kind of player any blue-blood school would love to have. He’s also a lefty, and that’s a significant advantage at the college level. He also has some idea of how to play through contact, and that’s a nice edge to have coming into Kentucky.
As for Shai, I am both sad and happy to see him go. I loved everything about him this season, and I’ll miss that a lot. He was by far the least-lauded 2017 recruit, and he’s become by all accounts a potential late lottery pick.
There is absolutely nowhere for Shai to go but down in the draft as he lacks the startling athleticism so many point guards seem to have these days, instead utilizing his extraordinary length to get to the rim. How that translates to the NBA remains to be seen, but another year in college wouldn’t help him, and could hurt him if he goes into a slump. This was a good decision and I applaud it.
Hagans is the 8th ranked player in 2019 right now, and the #1 point guard. He recently decommitted from the University of Georgia, and will now apparently join Kentucky, although whether it will be in 2019 or 2018 is up in the air at the moment.
Stay tuned to A Sea of Blue for more.
Tweet of the Morning
BREAKING: Five-star guard Ashton Hagans has verbally committed to UK per @EvanDaniels. He was previously committed to Georgia.— Kernel Sports (@KYKernelSports) April 10, 2018
Big news, to be sure. And this:
Ashton Hagans tells @EvanDaniels he is taking the class to reclassify for 2018 but a final decision as to his class has not been made— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) April 10, 2018
- Ashton Hagans commits to UK. Zagsblog has more.
- More on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s decision to enter the NBA Draft.
- Really? Seriously?
- More Hagans.
Other Kentucky sports
- Chip McDaniel leads six UK golfers inside the top 15 on the opening day of the Gary Koch Invitational. UK is 2nd overall at 21 under.
- Bat Cats junior outfielder Tristan Pompey is the SEC Player of the Week.
- Villanova’s Mikal Bridges declares for the NBA Draft. He certainly has nothing left to prove in college, that’s for sure.
- Michigan State’s really bad, no-good year just potentially got worse.
Other sports news
- Great story about Patrick Reed, the Masters champion, and his estranged parents. Sad. I hope they get it sorted out before somebody shuffles off this mortal coil.
- Yeah, he pretty good.