Senior Day is always a rare occurrence at Kentucky, especially since John Calipari took over.
However, the Kentucky Wildcats will have three seniors take part in the Senior Day festivities tomorrow against Florida; Davion Mintz, Olivier Sarr and Riley Welch.
While Mintz will be going through the festivities tomorrow, he says that there has been no decision made on his future, whether he will take advantage of an extra year of eligibility or not.
“No decisions have been made yet. Absolutely not,” Mintz stated. “I think it’s important that I go through Senior Day. I felt a lot of pain last year sitting out with a cast on my foot during Senior Day at Creighton. Those emotions I felt, I just don’t want to feel that again. I felt it’s important for me to go through it and have a little ceremony regardless of my decision.”
Mintz has been rumored to be heavily considering a return to UK next season, but we will almost certainly not hear anything until after the season is done as to who stays and who leaves.
Regardless, Mintz says the he is still excited to take part in Senior Day at Rupp tomorrow, whether it’s in front of 25,000 people or 2,000 people.
“It’ll still be a surreal moment,” Mintz said. “Your family and friends will be there and I know the biggest part of being here is that even though sometimes the gym is empty, the whole world is watching because this is Kentucky Basketball. That’s just things you try to remember. Being a senior and making it to this point in your life where a lot of people haven’t gotten there, it’s just super important and big for our families and I’m happy for those guys stepping across the stage, whether there’s 25,000 people in the gym or 2,000. Like I said, it’s going to be a big moment and I’m happy to get there.”
More importantly, Mintz is enjoying this journey with his teammates and remains optimistic on this team rounding into form as regular-season play winds down.
“It’s tough. I was talking to Keion (Brooks Jr.) and Olivier (Sarr) yesterday. It just seems like there’s a different type of feel out there,” Mintz said. “Earlier in the season, not even earlier in the season, but a few games ago I think we went on a little stretch and during that time it was like, OK, we’re winning these games, but something just still feels off. We’re still missing that piece and not as a person, but a form of like unity.
“Really, we didn’t know what it was, but we were winning those games, but they were still close. We’d have a lead, but the end of the game would still be kind of rough.
“Then just this past stretch that we had, now it’s just like a different feeling out there. Like, I’ll do anything for my brother. I can’t even describe it. I think that we were all like devoted in doing what we have to do. We feel not the pressure, but we feel the importance of now we don’t have a choice, we have to be unified out there and I think that’s the biggest thing that’s changed.
“We have gotten it, and I know during awhile ago we said, ‘We’ve got to get it. It’ll turn.’ But I really do think that now we understand the importance of being a brotherhood out there.”
Should Mintz decide to return, he would be a key-player in a backcourt that would be much improved, especially with the addition of McDonald’s All-American Nolan Hickman.