The Kentucky Wildcats have scored a huge pledge in 2018.
It comes in EJ Montgomery, who surprised everyone when he committed to UK Monday morning, according to Evan Daniels.
“It was a pretty hard decision,” Montgomery said. “I had to talk about the pros and cons about every school. I just had that feeling that Kentucky was the place for me”.
Montgomery is ranked as high as No. 6 overall in the 2018 class by 247 Sports. He becomes the first big man to pick UK in the Class of 2018.
UK beat out the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Clemson and Vanderbilt for his services.
Montgomery was originally committed to Auburn going into the fall of 2017, but then the Tigers were linked to the ongoing FBI investigation into college basketball corruption. That led to Montgomery reopening his recruitment, which initially was slow as the 2017-18 season began.
But as time rolled on, a host of blue-blood programs began tossing their hat in the ring, including UK, Duke and UNC. It was believed that those three stood at the most with Duke being the favorite initially.
However, John Calipari and UK stayed vigilant in this recruitment, and it ultimately paid off with a pledge from this top-10 recruit.
Strengths: Montgomery is an inside-out four-man who is long, athletic, and skilled. The southpaw has been a celebrated prospect since he was younger but has turned a major corner in the last year with his motor, productivity, and the maturation of his overall approach. While he has soft touch that extends away from the basket and should eventually give him the potential to be able to stretch the floor, he’s asserting his will around the rim much more assertively and consistently now. He’s playing the game inside-out, showing his quick bounce more frequently, finishing with more force, and gradually starting to cut-up and fill out his frame. Montgomery has naturally soft hands, good dexterity, and footwork, not just inside but also at the high post. He’s mobile and athletic with upside and potential versatility as a defender and also a passing instinct to be developed in the coming years.
Weaknesses: The commitment to his new approach, even as he encounters adversity down the road, will be critical. While the past is hopefully behind him now, he was a player whose production rarely matched his potential as an underclassmen as there were concerns about both his motor and toughness. He needs to continue to build up his body to ensure he’s capable of playing through contact at the next level and also fully embrace his defensive value and potential while maintaining a consistent approach on the glass. He’s also been a very poor career free-throw shooter despite his naturally soft touch.
Check out some highlights of the newest Cat in action: