It’s no secret that E.J. Montgomery’s commitment to Kentucky took the basketball world by surprise on Monday morning.
Since decommitting from Auburn back in September, the five-star forward from Georgia has had a surprisingly quiet recruitment for a player of his talents, and there was no clear indicator when he would pull the trigger and commit with a new school, or what school that would even be. For weeks, there wasn’t even an obvious front-runner for Montgomery’s services, with Kentucky, North Carolina and Duke all believed to be in the mix.
Only there was Montgomery pulling the trigger on Monday morning and committing to Kentucky, to the surprise of just about everyone – even one of his future Wildcats’ teammates.
On Thursday, KSR caught up with Kentucky commit Tyler Herro at the Nike Hoops Summit in Portland, Oregon. Herro admitted that he knew Kentucky would get a commitment this week – but that it would be from Ashton Hagans.
He had no idea that Montgomery was close to committing, or that he would end up with Kentucky.
“I was surprised,” Herro admitted. “I did not know that E.J. was committing. I talk to Ashton 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.”
Just how big was the get? Well, Kentucky not only added another five-star prospect, but a player that could be at a major position of need. It’s no secret that Kentucky is waiting on the draft decisions of Jared Vanderbilt, P.J. Washington and Wenyen Gabriel, and if two of the three (or all three) end up leaving, Montgomery will be called upon to contribute right away.
The good news is that most think he’ll be ready. Montgomery’s AAU coach told KSR’s T.J. Walker that Montgomery can play “inside and out” and that’s a sentiment that Herro agrees with.
“I think he brings everything,” Herro said of Montgomery. “He can shoot it from 15 feet and out. He’s a presence inside. He’s a big body. Just having another high-caliber five-star like him is going to help us a lot.”
Herro also isn’t worried how Montgomery – or any of the new Wildcats for that matter – will fit in with the rest of the roster. While Hagans’ reclassification to 2018 is still up in the air, Montgomery will be on campus at Kentucky in the next few months.
And Herro believes each of the new Wildcats will bring something different to the table.
“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.”