EJ Montgomery is back.
Kentucky F EJ Montgomery will pull out of the 2019 NBA Draft and return to school for his sophomore season, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 29, 2019
Montgomery started the 2018-2019 season a little behind after sitting out for most of the summer Bahamas tour. PJ Washington and Reid Travis controlled the frontcourt minutes, leaving Montgomery and Nick Richards to fight for minutes behind them.
It took most of the season to get there, but Montgomery carved a role out for himself, ultimately receiving more minutes than Richards down the stretch. Montgomery even got the starting nod when Washington was unavailable during the NCAA Tournament.
For the season, Montgomery averaged 3.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and one block in 15.1 minutes per game. That’s 10.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per 40 minutes.
Montgomery’s greatest contribution to the team was on the glass, especially on the offensive end. Over 40% of his rebounds came on the offensive end of the court, which lead to a lot of second-chance opportunities for the Wildcats.
The 6-10 big man also had several games in which his defense helped Kentucky score close wins. That was most evident in the road win over Ole Miss, where Montgomery had four blocks, several of which were in the final minutes when the Cats were clinging to a narrow lead.
Montgomery came to Kentucky ranked as high as sixth-ranked recruit in the 2019 class via 247 Sports. His back injury caused him to miss three of the four Bahamas games, which led to him getting a slower start to the season that expected, but there were times when his potential really shined.
There’s no doubt Montgomery will be a huge asset with a very high ceiling moving forward.
Given the players that are returning and the class coming in, EJ has the opportunity to be a part of a special team while enjoying a breakout season, perhaps along the lines of how much PJ Washington improved from his freshman to sophomore season.