The Kentucky Wildcats are starting to look like a team capable of making a deep run in March. But to become a true national championship contender, UK will need EJ Montgomery to step up and become the kind of impact player everyone assumed he would be coming into the 2019-20 season.
After a disappointing start to his sophomore season, Montgomery has slowly been finding himself over the last month while carving out a nice role as a solid paint defender that can protect the rim as well.
However, Montgomery’s offense is still a major work in progress, as he’s scored six or fewer points in seven of his last eight games while hitting double figures just three times this season.
The good news is Montgomery is still working hard to reach his potential, at least according to assistant coach Joel Justus.
Joel Justus meeting with us hacks, says EJ Montgomery is “practicing at an all-time high,” just figuring out how hard this is and learning how to shoulder “the burden of success.”— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 28, 2020
Right now, Montgomery is sitting on 6.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. If he can become a player who averages about 10-12 points, 6-8 boards and 1-2 blocks per game, the Cats will be a very real threat to make it to Atlanta for the 2020 Final Four and potentially win it all, while also putting him in position to hear his name called during the 2020 NBA Draft.
For now, we can only hope.