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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: Positive update on EJ Montgomery for UK

It appears Duke is losing steam and UK is pulling ahead in this race.

With the spring signing period beginning soon, UK’s 2018 recruiting class is still short on a big man.

While Immanuel Quickley, Keldon Johnson, and Tyler Herro have the Wildcats looking set in the backcourt — not to mention the possible addition of Ashton Hagans — they would ideally still like to bring in a big man in the class.

It sounds like EJ Montgomery could be the man for the job.

For much of Montgomery’s recruitment since he decommitted from Auburn, the Duke Blue Devils have been viewed as the heavy favorite in this recruitment. However, Duke may be losing steam in this battle, according to KSR’s TJ Walker, who wrote a positive update on UK’s position with Montgomery.

Lately it seems like UK has been surging for Montgomery after it initially appeared Duke would be the team to beat. Things have changed.

Sources tell Kentucky Sports Radio that Duke is weighing other options while keeping an eye on Montgomery. Basically the way I read the conversation was that Duke still may lock in on Montgomery, but the Blue Devils are exploring grad-transfer options. “Eh, we like you but do we like someone better?”

Walker went on to say he thinks UK lands Montgomery, which would be a massive addition for next season. The 6-10 big man is ranked sixth overall in the 2018 class in addition to being the second-best forward. He’s skilled enough to play the 4 but also big and long enough to play center if he bulks up some.

If Montgomery comes to UK, he’d spend a lot of time at the 4 and 5 spots, especially if Nick Richards doesn’t take a big step forward at center next season. Right now, UK is banking heavily on Richards making that leap, but having Montgomery would give them some major insurance if it doesn’t happen.

And really, Montgomery is talented enough that he simply may end up being the best big man on UK’s roster next season, regardless of who comes back (other than Kevin Knox if he surprises everyone and returns).

Be sure to read Walker’s full update, which includes a good nugget on James Wiseman.

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