Wednesday morning, EJ Montgomery officially declared for the NBA Draft joining Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley and Nick Richards leaving Kentucky.
With the news, the Kentucky Wildcats have now lost all five starters from last year’s team and will only be returning two scholarship players from the roster.
Drew Brown noted that out of the 2,307 points and 415 assists last season, Kentucky is only returning 138 points and 6 assists of those.
Kentucky scored 2,307 points and dished out 415 assists last season. Only 138 of those points and 6 assists came from a player who will be on next season’s roster.— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) April 15, 2020
Kentucky did add a transfer in Rhode Island forward Jacob Toppin, but it’s unclear if he’ll even be eligible next season, so it’s hard to factor him in just yet.
With that said, Jon Rothstein updated his preseason rankings for the 2020-21 season, and Kentucky has now dropped to No. 17. Rothstein projects the starters to be:
- G Devin Askew
- G Terrence Clarke
- G B.J. Boston
- F Keion Brooks
- C Isaiah Jackson
Despite the max exodus from last year’s team, coach Cal and his staff still brought in the No. 1 overall recruiting class and have already added Toppin and grad transfer Davion Mintz from Creighton.
Kentucky will still need more depth in the frontcourt, which hopefully will be filled with grad transfer Matt Haarms from Purdue.
Even with all of these players leaving the program, Kentucky will still be a very talented team next season and I fully expect them to be in the hunt for a National Championship when March Madness rolls around.
Other SEC teams making the rankings include Tennessee (No. 14), Florida (No.19), LSU (No. 26), and South Carolina (No. 38).
You can see the full preseason Rothstein 45 for 2021 here.