With the recruiting period winding down and players from last seasons team making their NBA decisions, the 2019-2020 Kentucky Wildcats roster is shaping up to be yet another good one.
PJ Washington, Tyler Herro, and Keldon Johnson have all announced their intentions to stay in the NBA Draft. Reid Travis is a senior (and is also heading to the NBA), and Jemarl Baker announced his intentions to transfer from Kentucky.
So where does that leave the Wildcats in terms for next season’s roster? UK is losing over 60% of its scoring from this season, but this turnover is nothing that John Calipari and the Wildcats haven’t seen before.
Guards: Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, Brad Calipari
Kentucky will be deep at the guard spot yet again next season with Maxey, Hagans, and Quickley. Maxey is a combo guard and can play point guard or off the ball if Cal wants him to. He is a fantastic scorer that will complement Hagans’ ball handling and Quickley’s ability to come off the bench and get a bucket.
A sophomore Ashton Hagans will be huge for the Wildcats next year. If he comes back and better’s his game and himself, much like PJ did this season, I can see Hagans having a monster season.
Forwards: Kahlil Whitney, Dontaie Allen, Keion Brooks, Nate Sestina, Zan Payne
The forwards on next season’s squad can be seen as running a little thin and that’s expected to happen when you lose three forwards from one team. But with three incoming freshman and one graduate transfer in the front court already, I am excited about it. Kahlil Whitney and Keion Brooks are going to be major contributors next season and Donatie Allen, if healthy, should contribute as well.
This brings me to the transfer of Virginia Tech Hokies forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. If Kentucky can land Blackshear and bring another Reid Travis-esque big man, then I think John Calipari and staff would feel more comfortable about the front court.
Centers: Nick Richards, EJ Montgomery
This is why adding Kerry Blackshear Jr. is so important for next season. Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery can be huge next season if they make strides during the offseason, kind of like we thought Nick Richards would this past offseason.
In addition, Montgomery is testing the NBA Draft waters, so it’s no longer a 100% lock he returns. However, Montgomery did say he wants to be a first-round pick to remain in the draft, something that looks highly unlikely.
Recruiting: Jaden McDaniels,
For Matthew Hurt, the writing is pretty much on the wall that Hurt is going to Duke. After cancelling his in-home visits with both Kentucky and Kansas this past weekend, everybody assumed that pretty much sealed the deal for Hurt to Duke.
Matthew Hurt has committed to Duke, so he’s officially off the board.
Jaden McDaniels on the other hand has stayed quiet on his recruitment. Kentucky and Washington are the presumed favorites, especially since McDaniels’ brother Jalen has left San Diego State for the NBA Draft. Other than the presumed favorites, we all pretty much know nothing about McDaniels’ recruitment.