Now that Kentucky’s season is over, the focus turns to who will be back for the 2021-22 season.
As usual, expect a significant group of Wildcats to be playing elsewhere next season, be it in the pros or at a different school.
One player who has a very tough decision ahead of him is Davion Mintz. The fifth-year senior has made it clear that returning for a sixth season is a very real possibility, though he’s also said no decision has been made.
Davion Mintz gives a message to the BBN pic.twitter.com/ehPLoVx3p0— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 11, 2021
After the game, Mintz also said he doesn’t have a timeframe on when a final decision to stay or go will be made.
“No idea,” Mintz said of a possible timeframe for his decision. “Just lost. I’m just processing that now. Make sure my body is healthy, decide whenever that time comes.”
The truth is Mintz is probably better off going pro now that his stock is as high as it’s ever been in his college career. He was very effective playing at point guard and off the ball throughout the season, though he’s stepped it up a notch after taking over the primary ball-handler duties.
Against the Bulldogs today, Mintz scored 16 points on 6/10 shooting with a team-high eight assists and no turnovers in 33 minutes of action. He scored in double figures in his final six games this season, which included a pair of 20+ point games after not hitting that mark in his first 21 games as a Wildcat. He also shot 33/77 (43%) from deep over his final 10 games.
In addition, Kentucky will have Devin Askew, incoming McDonald’s All-American Nolan Hickman, and maybe (I’d still say doubtful for now) a sophomore BJ Boston in the backcourt next season. Jacob Toppin and Dontaie Allen also appear likely to return, so what was a very thin backcourt this season should be much deeper and experienced in 2021-22.
Oh, and while writing this, news emerged that Kentucky reached out to 2021 four-star point guard TyTy Washington. I can’t imagine Kentucky is going to take another high school point guard unless Mintz is leaving.
All of this is why I’d lean toward Mintz playing professionally next season, but never say never.