An updated look at next years roster and what UK needs to happen to be an elite team
Slowly but surely the roster is getting a little more solid for next season but there are still several question marks remaining. This is the roster we know for certain.
1. Immanuel Quickley 6’3 guard
2. Ashton Hagans 6’4 guard
3. Tyler Herro 6’4 guard
4. Keldon Johnson 6’6 forward
5. EJ Montgomery 6’10 forward
6. Nick Richards 7’0 center
The players that have not announced their intentions or could pull their name out of the draft are the following
Both Baker and Green have no draft option available but either one could potentially feel that the back court is too crowded and opt to transfer. Vanderbilt and Gabriel could opt to enter the draft without hiring an agent and hope to work their way up the draft board. Gabriel could be ready to play professional basketball at whatever level he can so that is also an option for him. It seems very likely that PJ will eventually withdraw from the draft barring a 1st round guarantee which seems highly unlikely at this point.
If Kentucky is going to be one of the best teams in the country next year they need a few things to happen in their favor.
A. Get Quade Green back- Whether he starts or comes off the bench Green would log a lot of minutes next year and give the Cats a veteran back court player to help steady the team early on. On top of that he is a 38% 3 point shooter and 80% free throw shooter which would be very valuable. He has the personality that would help lead a young team towards their goal. Losing him would be a big blow that would leave the Cats with zero experience at the guard position.
B. Get back 2 of either PJ, Jarred or Wenyen- Obviously the best case would be to get all 3 back but the real need is to get 2 of them. Probably the best 2 would be PJ and Jarred if Vanderbilt can get 100% healthy in the off season. Wenyen would provide another shooter and does not have the health issues so getting him back instead of Jarred would not be a bad thing. With 2 of the 3 back it would give them 4 solid frontcourt options when added to EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards. Cal might look at adding a grad transfer or another recruit to give some additional depth if one of the 3 indeed leave.
If the two above things happen I think Kentucky will be an elite team with a strong chance to win a national championship. For now fans must be patient and wait to see how everything finishes up but there is much reason for excitement. Cal has his swag back and it is going to result in a very fun season for Big Blue Nation next year.