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E.J. Montgomery commitment surprised everyone; how John Calipari sold him on UK

Plus what Tyler Herro thought of E.J. Montgomery pulling the surprise pick of UK out of nowhere.

2018 McDonald's All American Game Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

E.J. Montgomery announced his commitment to the University of Kentucky last week. He picked the Wildcats over the likes of Duke and North Carolina.

While his recruitment has been ongoing since last September, when he decommitted from Auburn, it was largely thought that Montgomery would take more official visits and announce his decision late this spring.

It all came down to Calipari’s in-home visit on Sunday, according to Chris Fisher at In a conversation with Montgomery’s father, it was made clear that Kentucky was the place for E.J.

“He just felt like that was the place for him to be. He didn’t feel like he needed to take any more visits,” Montgomery Sr. said. “They just talked about how we can come in and they’re going to develop him and help him achieve his dreams.”

Calipari and Kenny Payne have made their mark developing big men who know dominate the NBA (think DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, or Karl-Anthony Towns). Montgomery hopes to join that lineage of Wildcats in the pros.

The quick decision on his part took the college world by surprise, including one of Montgomery’s future teammates Tyler Herro. In a conversation with KSR’s Aaron Torres, Herro revealed that he knew a Kentucky commitment was coming on Monday, just not Montgomery’s.

“I was surprised,” Herro admitted. “I did not know that E.J. was committing. I talk to Ashton [Hagans] quite a bit so I did know that he was committing. But we’re happy to have both of them. Having E.J., that’s a big get for us.”

Montgomery marks yet another highly touted, five-star recruit to come to Kentucky and is a huge win for Calipari after watching the top three recruits in the 2018 class pick Duke. He can play inside and outside and is a matchup nightmare on the offensive end.

Herro is excited to see how the incoming Wildcats mesh this coming season.

“We all bring our own attributes,” he said. “I think I can bring my scoring, Keldon can bring everything that he does. EJ is an inside presence. Immanuel is a great point guard. So I think we’re all going to fit together.”

I for one am excited to see Montgomery play in a Kentucky uniform. And I can’t wait to see how the team looks when it takes the court next season.