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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Comings And Goings Edition

As Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Sacha Killeya-Jones and Kevin Knox leave, Ashton Hagans and E.J. Montgomery are Kentucky bound.

Florida v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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.

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Big news, to be sure. And this:

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  • More Hagans.

Quite quotable.

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