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Thursday Quickies: Looking Ahead Edition

A look at the offseason ahead

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional Practice Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The end of the season always means a lot of looking back. It means plenty of “what if” and “if only” moments. However, the end of the season also provides an opportunity to look ahead, and there is still a lot left to unfold this offseason for the Kentucky Wildcats.

First of all, it is officially “Stay or Leave” season. With the new NCAA rule that allows players to declare for the draft and hire agents without foregoing their eligibility, expect several guys to toss their hats in the ring. As for Kentucky players, I break it down this way:

PJ Washington - definite gone

Keldon Johnson - 90 percent gone

Tyler Herro - 80 percent gone

Ashton Hagans- 50 percent gone

To me, I think Washington, Johnson and Herro leave for the draft while Ashton Hagans decides to come back and try to cement himself in the first round. These decisions are huge difference makers for a team. Can you imagine this year’s Kentucky team if PJ Washington decided to stay in the draft last year?

We’ll hear plenty of news on this in the coming weeks, as players will have until May 29 to withdraw their names.

Secondly, recruiting will be a big portion of the next few weeks. Kentucky already has signed Tyrese Maxey and Dontaie Allen. They are expected to sign Kahlil Whitney and Keion Brooks in the next few weeks as well.

The Wildcats missed out on all of their major frontcourt targets in this class, but are still in the mix for a couple frontcourt players that are uncommitted. Matthew Hurt and Jaden McDaniels will make decisions in the coming weeks. Neither is viewed as a heavy Kentucky lean, but Cal has been able to pull some surprise commits in the past.

Just for the record, I think they land Hurt but we will see.

Kentucky is also in the mix for Nate Sestina, the Bucknell grad transfer as well as some possible 2020 reclassification candidates. The frontcourt recruiting saga will definitely be a major storyline in the offseason to see how Kentucky plays their cards over the course of the next couple weeks.

Hopefully Kentucky can bring back both EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards, setting a solid foundation for the group going into the 2019-2020 season.

It should be an interesting offseason to see how next year’s squad unfolds, but as it looks, John Calipari is shaping up to have a team that can be a contender once again next year.

Tweets of the Day

Reid Travis is such a class act.

Josh Allen is going to be a busy man leading up to the draft.


John Calipari’s SEC competition is getting tougher - Herald Leader

Buzz Williams has the potential to make Texas A&M a conference contender again.

Breaking down stay-or-go decisions - Courier Journal

A lot of guys have tough decisions ahead of them.

John Calipari wonders why national writers don’t like his new contract - Cats Pause

“Why are they mad?” is the new Cal line.

Eight things you missed from UK Football spring practice - KSR

With the NCAA Tournament, here’s a look at some notable takeaways from spring practice.

Avery Williamson excited to potentially team up with Josh Allen in New York - KSR

Two Wildcats could be leading the way for the Jets defense next season.

Rhyne Howard named WBCA National Freshman of the Year - UK Athletics

A huge honor and a bright future ahead for Howard.

Ja Morant declares for the NBA Draft - ESPN

No surprise here for the projected top 5 pick.

Jahvon Quinerly to transfer from Villanova - Bleacher Report

Also no surprise here with rumors swirling all season.

An oral history of Dirk Nowitzki at the 1998 Nike Hoop Summit - ESPN

Of course, the story goes that Dirk was going to come to Kentucky before deciding on the NBA.

Christian Laettner thinks only Zion, RJ should go to the NBA as underclassmen - 247 Sports

Interesting comment by the former Duke Blue Devil.

Looking at the NBA future of Final Four stars - Bleacher Report

Not a whole lot of star power in the Final Four this year.

Tom Izzo thinks a second title will validate his career at Mich. St - Yahoo

There’s a big difference between winning one title and winning two.

NCAA makes noticeable errors on Final Four signs - Yahoo

It didn’t take long for people online to start noticing.