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Sacha Killeya-Jones to transfer

The former McDonald’s All-American announced on Monday he plans to leave Kentucky just hours after the Cats landed more recent McDonald’s All-American E.J. Montgomery.

SKJ averaged 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game during his sophomore season. The 6-foot-10, 221-pound forward was originally committed to Virginia before backing off that pledge and later committing to Kentucky. He’s originally from Chapel Hill, NC.

It’s unclear where he will go next but it’s a bummer it never worked out for him at Kentucky and we wish him the best.

Article written by TJ Walker

103 responses to “Sacha Killeya-Jones to transfer”

  1. Cmart0907

    Calipari pushed him out.

    1. BBNDan7



      So dumb smh

    3. KayutsBy90

      I would have too. Plenty of opportunities this year that he never really capitalized on. I’m guessing he saw the writing on the wall knew he had blown his best chance of playing time here.

    4. jagard3

      I think he was going to be a star at UK this coming season, no way Cal pushed him out

    5. cats646

      Easy now. Cal kinda did push him out by playing Richards, who didn’t earn one minute in any game, over SKJ. I’m a huge Cal fan but the truth is the truth. SKJ was way better than richards and deserved to play over him. But Cal was too stubborn to play him. Am I mad at Cal? No. Do I think it is mostly his fault? Yes. Best of luck to you SKJ!!

  2. Cmart0907

    Kids wait their turn and get over recruited.

    1. nybrasky

      There’s no “wait your turn”. You either work your tail off and earn minutes by being better than other players or you sit and watch. It doesn’t matter what year you are.

    2. bluetide

      That’s right! You’re either good enough to play minutes or you’re not. This is Kentucky! There are no guaranteed minutes here. It’s all earned!

    3. TBW3011

      Sounds good, accept he was CLEARLY better than Richards, but not ranked high enough to play over him until the end when Cal looked like a total idiot trying to do otherwise.

    4. chrisg18

      This is mostly true. Cal can be stubborn about playing kids who come in with a lot of hype. I would argue SKJ earned a lot more minutes than Richards this past year but it didn’t exactly work out that way. If Richards would have been ranked closer to 40 (which is probably where he should have been ranked in the first place) I bet SKJ sees many more minutes from day 1.

    5. Realme

      We don’t know who earned more minutes between Sacha and Nick, because minutes are mostly earned off the court, when only the coaches are watching.

    6. RealCatsFan

      Realme, I agree to a point – but you also have players who are simply “gamers” – i.e., they might not show well in practice, but they bring it in the games. Not saying that SKJ was a gamer, but I thought he was definitely a lot more skilled offensively than Richards.

    7. UK Big Board Update

      Yes. Cal would rather lose than play the person he feels would help us the most. /s

      Some of our fans, man…..

  3. Dark Soul

    I was scared of this. He probably is making the right move for him though

  4. catsfan9508

    This sucks because I always liked him

  5. doitagain

    Good luck with the shark attack elsewhere.

  6. BBN_strive_4_9

    Good luck Sacha

  7. jimlowe7

    One great young man who was crucial to our end of year win streak – I was hoping he would stay but he will do well I’m sure (many “late bloomers” are in the NBA doing good things).

  8. ClutchCargo

    Welp, good luck to SKJ.

  9. Biglaw Dawgin'

    Sucks, but probably the right move for him. SKJ will start right away for almost any other team outside the top 10 usual suspects. If he has to sit out a year (that rule is being reviewed), he’ll be even more of a beast in 2019 with a year of weight lifting and 1,000 jumpers a day under his belt. Good luck, SKJ.

  10. dballrb

    In SKJs early days at Kentucky,he looked good and stood out to me on the floor.(Playing against lesser talented teams),Seems he just got buried on the bench.Sad day..I like his game..late..

  11. Willis talkin bout....

    Kinda sucks.. personally I think he deserved the min over Richards but Cal was never going to put him above Nic on the roster. Best of luck Sasha!

    1. trumpetguy

      Obviously vast majority of us never witness practices, but we watch all the games. Nick Richards never appeared to be a dominating figure, but continued to start/play minutes in front of SKJ. Practice performance that bad by SKJ?

  12. Alleykat16

    Well I tell you I dont really like this. The kids leaving our program because these new kids coming in are going to be taking their hard earned playing time because we have to get them ready for the NBA. I love UK have so from 1967 when I listen to games on the radio with my Grandfather, but the way the program is going is not what college basketball is suppose to be. I’m a fan of our program but I’m not real happy with how this has been going in that last few years

    1. secrick

      You would be ok if we won the Championship i bet.

    2. gobble gobble

      AlleyCat… shut that dumb redneck mouth of yours. You clearly don’t understand much of anything

    3. plumloopy

      AlleyKat16s post was reasoned, thoughtful and he has a right to his opinion. This immediate sneer and shut down of anyone who criticizes is ridiculous and embarrassing. You disagree? Fine. But the name calling, arrogance and disrespect is out of control.

    4. ukcamel

      I’d like to hear why you think this comment is reasoned and thoughtful and rather than speculative and emotional? I have a feeling that you won’t be able to answer that question.

    5. macattack

      Cmon gobble gobble, no need to be rude. Alleycat is entitled to his opinion. I dont agree with it either, but no need to insult.

      In reference to alleycat’s comment, I think you are looking back on days past in the college game. It just doesnt work like that anymore. Especially not with a top program or coach. It just doesnt make sense for these guys to stay.
      But you mentioned his “hard earned playing time”. We dont know if he did or not. Cal is a fair coach, and if SKJ really earned it, I suspect he’d be out there more. Nick may not have played well, but the kid was always hustling and trying.

  13. secrick

    Good Luck, it worked out good for Charles Matthews and here’s hoping you do great at Michigan also.

  14. runningunnin.454

    That didn’t take long, did it? Too bad, I think his experience would have led to minutes next year.

  15. 4everUKblue

    Good luck SKJ, I was really hoping you would stay.

    1. runningunnin.454

      Same here.

    2. jagard3


  16. BonnieTayshaunBilly

    I thought he was really coming into his own during the tournament. I thought Cal should’ve played him over Richards many times throughout the season. I don’t think transferring makes sense. Burn a year of eligibility because you might not play as much? I wish we could’ve kept Marcus Lee and Charles Matthews. I’m not sure transferring helped their careers immensely.

    1. Biglaw Dawgin'

      He won’t lose any eligibility. He’ll have to sit out a year, then he’ll still have two years left.

  17. Matty Arbuckle

    Sucks he is transferring. Part of the reason we don’t have many upperclassmen is that they keep leaving for other schools, not just for the NBA!

  18. TBW3011

    I wish him luck. I’d have done the same thing. Go somewhere where a guy half as good doesn’t play over you.

    1. ClutchCargo

      So you will be transferring to another blog to post dumb stuff? Don’t let the door hit you in the ass!

  19. Willis Wolf Tattoo

    Couldn’t. Play. Defense.

    1. JWB

      Exactly!!! Wish SKJ the best of luck though.

  20. jamburgey22

    So sick of these guys leaving. Why can’t cal keep them?

    1. gobble gobble

      Bc he has better players coming in…

    2. gobble gobble

      And who all of importance has left? “All these guys leaving”??? What are you talking about??

    3. BBNDan7

      Would you sit the bench and basically give up on your dream and future?

  21. LegggoooCats

    I wish SKJ all the best, and just hate that he is transferring. He was really coming into his own and would be a solid player the next couple years, but I was afraid he would transfer. He’s too good to not get more time on the floor than he has. I really think Cal screwed up on this one.

    1. henderblue

      I kinda agree with all that

    2. macattack

      I generally agree that he was rounding into his own and would be a solid player, but that is all he would be here. A Dom or Derek Willis. I think he wants to be more than that, and can do that on another team.

  22. Booby Petrino

    Sucks for us but I understand and don’t blame him.

  23. gwhittle

    I wish him luck, and I don’t blame him. He should have been starting the second half of the season, but never played. Hope he catches on somewhere and gets a chance to shine.

  24. UKLugo

    Sucks. Marcus Lee 2.0 . I wouldve liked to seen his continued development while still a CAT.

  25. Realme

    I wish we could hang onto our 3-4 year players, but I guess that mostly only will work when they also have Ky ties, like Derek and Dom.

  26. gobble gobble

    All you people complaining about this transfer are morons. SKJ would get less playing time next year than he did this year. Why would he stay?

    1. wyatts1

      Morons?? Calling a guy above a “dumb redneck” dude your pathetic and need to learn some common decency, be respectful or just don’t comment.

    2. UK Big Board Update

      gobble gobble triggered the snowflakes. LOL


  27. Cat68

    Wasn’t Cal’s favorite which is a shame. Thought KP could develop the bigs a little more. For some reason the kid took up permanent residence in Cal’s doghouse. He’s making the right move for himself, but I can hear Cal now talking about how they’ll help in any way…now that he’s leaving. Probably good indication Jared and PJ leaning towards returning.

  28. Underdog

    Darn it! A JUNIOR SKJ would have been huge for this team. Just as a JUNIOR Isaac Humphries would have been a great part of this year’s team.

    I wish SKJ the best.

    Not everybody is good enough to be one and done or even two and done. He probably would have been a three and done player, getting drafted next year. Worst case, a 4 and done player, and getting drafted in the top 18.

    The grass was green right here at UK. I wish he could have been patient enough to wait.

    Now, this means we gotta retain Jarred and Wenyen. We need BOTH of them to return. We need their experience. Their team needs them.

    I have always said, our biggest recruit for next year is Jarred Vanderbilt. If he stays healthy, he’ll be a top 5 pick in next year’s draft. He may be a top 3 pick. He’s a great player. Don’t let the offensive struggles fool you. He’ll be the MVP of next year’s team. He’ll be the Chuck Hayes’ soul of next year’s team. He’ll be the Dennis Rodman for us. And Dennis Rodman’s are very, very rare.

    Here’s the cool thing: IF we can get Hagan’s, who loves D, we could have the greatest defensive team in the country. These are guys who like the grind on defense. Very rare to find these individuals. MKG was one, and he was the soul of that championship team. Davis was a close second. But MKG was the real inspiration.

    I believe this lineup will be the best defensive lineup in UK history:

    PJ Washington

    Sub in Herro for some shooting, or Baker (assuming he stays) or EJ or Wenyen.

    1. Underdog

      I forgot about Nick. Assuming he stays, AND improves, he will be a force on defense. Maybe Nick can be a 3 or 4 year player.

    2. jagard3

      I love the optimism, but saying that 3 freshmen will make the best defensive team in UK’s history is a bit… much

  29. LouisaCatFan

    Now if Wenyen and PJ leave, Cal will be screaming we are the youngest team ever again. So tired of hearing that.

    1. Han

      It’s true, and when the only other coach recruiting as many young guys is also having trouble with them (Duke won in 2015 with a freshman core, but his 2010 team had more experience), maybe you guys should believe it.

      Most teams can ease their freshmen into things and have a steadying influence and backups. One-and-done expectations (due to past superstars, media, and other schools’ negative recruiting) has left us with too many early departures, more than Cal wants. So even the “multi-year” guys Cal recruits decide to go overseas or transfer instead of working to get playing time despite being recruited over (think what Liggins did, and how Miller worked hard to play despite a more talent MKG in front of him).

      The youngest team in college basketball shouldn’t play as well as we do. Cal just needs to get people to stop pushing the One-And-Done narrative on all of our players. Cal only pressures lotto picks to go. The rest he wants back. He knows as well as the rest of us that our best teams had freshmen stars PLUS high quality veterans.

    2. notFromhere

      If he wants them back, he needs to stop giving all the PT to freshmen in the 1st half of the real season and pulling a veteran after one mistake.

      If a person is the reason the team is young, it’s no longer a reason, but an excuse. “Sorry no one wants to work with me for more than a year, boss, but that’s why I can’t get the job done. I’ve got to train all these new guys now that my support staff left.” Not much different than “my thumb drive crashed and I didn’t ever back up my homework files”

      May be a fact, but it’s part of a coach’s responsibility to build a roster, not just a new starting 5.

  30. Han

    Best of luck to him. Not shocked to see him go since both he and Richards struggled and lost playing time to Vanderbilt, and he may be of the same opinion as a lot of the armchair coaches here who think he should’ve been playing over Richards.

    We’ll see if he can go somewhere else and develop and excel (like Harrow under less stress/competition at G Southern, Matthews at Michigan, and Wiltjer who got more minutes and shots at Gonzaga) or if he puts up the same kind of numbers wherever he lands (like Lee at Cal and Poole at GTech).

    Hopefully he’s the only guy we lose inside.

  31. Not Dan Issel

    Players have been transferring since the days of Coach Rupp. Look up the names Greg Starrick and Bob Tallent, to name a couple of really talented players who left and were sorely missed.

    1. Han

      Plus since so many people want to compare our recruiting and rosters to Duke, maybe they should remember how many guys K recruited over or kicked to the curb the last few years.

      Hell, one of our transfers-out, Wiltjer, still sends in clips for video messages to fans and still talks about loving his time here. He just knew his game as an unathletic, tall shooter would be better served in another system, like Gonzaga, and that would maximize his chance to get drafted. (Still didn’t work out like he hoped.)

  32. Rabbi Li

    Sure he’s transferring.

    There’s too much pressure for these bids who come here with mush in their minds.

    He’s a 4 year player AT ANY SCHOOL. But he’s not willing to wait his turn.

    The rankings listing him as a 5 and a Demarcus Cousins a 5 is silly (and part of the problem). Leads to mush mind.

    1. crazycatfan65

      If I remember correctly Sacha stated interview last year that he didn’t come here planning on being a OND player and he had a plan course and was going to stick to it. Remember when Willis said that Sacha was the most talented player on the team after he graduated last year.

    2. notFromhere

      I wish him the best and hope he shows how good he could’ve been here. Hope he finds a staff that really helps him thrive.

      Cousins was a 5 star because of his body and instincts. This kid was a 5 star because of skills and talent. Both were better than 95% of the players coming out of HS.

    3. Rabbi Li

      notFromhere – The current rankings lead to mush mind. The point.

      Calling all these guys 5 offers no service to the people recruiting them or the kids themselves.

      The entire ranking system needs to be adjusted. Add a decimal point.

      If a 5 is the same ranking you give a kid who could go straight the to NBA and be the top pick, go to college play 1 year and be a lottery pick, and go to college and need to play 3 or 4 years to even be considered a pick in the entire NBA draft… then the rankings are useless and serve no purpose (actually causing part of the problem).

      Kobie Bryant – 5 Star
      LeBron James – 5 Star
      John Wall – 5 Star
      Quade Green – 5 Star
      Sacha Killeya Jones – 5 Star

      Just stop the madness. This is ignorance.

  33. KYcats11

    Best of luck. I selfishly wish he would have stayed, but completely understand why he left. Keep in mind, EJ Montgomery may have been notified of this, therefore he committed.

    1. KYcats11

      Or even the other way around, SKJ left because EJ committed.

  34. Rabbi Li

    Injuries set him back… and he doesn’t always do what makes it clear he NEEDS TO BE ON THE COURT.

    Good luck to him. He’d be great at a place where you REALIZE YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A 4 YEAR PLAYER.

  35. bigclubswinger

    Probably good move for him. Just don’t see him developing much past a role player here. Take a year out to work on your game and go into a situation where you can start and keep pursuing your dream young man. Would have loved to have him stay here and fill a role on what could be a special team but he has to do what is right for him and won’t be helpful if his heart is not in it here. Similar to Wiltjer in that he has trouble really defending. Wiltjer has many more offensive skills and is playing in Greece now.


    What’s with the “Your comment is awaiting moderation” BS ?

    1. runningunnin.454

      First time for you…ha ha ha. Pretty much random.


      Not my first, but this is the first time it didn’t make sense. In the past it seemed obvious it was because I used a “word” I shouldn’t have…but this post was 100% clean.

  37. BlakeBlueNation

    Am I the only one who is relatively happy about this? Sacha leaving allows us an extra scholarship for *cough* Hagans. He would’ve been the 3rd center in the depth chart anyways because of EJ Montgomery now, so I don’t see the problem here. Though he played better than Nick I believe Richards has much more upside than he does. If he does well somewhere else, good for him, but he will never reach his potential being a backup here…


      We were fine on scholarships regardless. We only had 13 players on the roster this year, and that included B-Cal and Jonny David, who aren’t on scholarship. SGA and Knox are gone, and likely 1 or even 2 more…not counting SKJ.

  38. TB112162

    Some of you people kill me on here playing time is determined by the coaching staff if the kid was to leave for playing time that’s fine but for all you haters of the one and Rome’s this is why we don’t have seniors with the exception of Willis and Hawkins guys that stuck it out Through little playing time

  39. Catlogic15

    Wonder if Chris Mack will give him a call. And would Sacha answer?

  40. Racerr11

    Great kid wish him the best.Good luck Sacha u will always be part of BBN.Cal is the man.

  41. kybirdieman

    Good decision. Should have been playing ahead of Richards and his sorry stats.

    1. runningunnin.454

      I don’t know; I wish he had decided to stay and fight for his minutes. He was taking Nick’s minutes at the end of the year, and he would have been a junior competing with a freshman that has to adjust and learn the college game.

    2. J-Dub421

      Nick averaged 1 more minute per game than Sacha (14.7 mpg, and 13.7 mpg respectively). Towards the end of the season SKJ was playing more minute per game. For the season, Nick scored more points, averaged more points per game, had more rebounds per game, a higher shooting percentage, higher free-throw shooting percentage, and had more blocks this season than Sacha did. But please, continue with your false narrative not backed up by stats.

    3. UK Big Board Update

      kybirdieman, you are what they call “fake news”.

  42. Luether


    1. runningunnin.454


    2. ClutchCargo

      Luether, quitting is underrated. You should try it.

    3. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      Luether, Luether. Don’t ever change buddy.

    4. henderblue

      Hater. Troll. Creep

    5. UK Big Board Update

      U STILL mad… lol

  43. BTownUKFan

    Coaches spend hundreds of hours working with these kids, but it’s up to the kid to show up for the games. SKJ has had ample opportunity to make plays in game. He was very inconsistent. Yes, Cal started Richards throughout the year to try and get him take take a step up but the SKJ was given plenty of minutes. For all the games he played in you could count his ‘big’ plays without using all your fingers and toes. Best of luck SKJ. Just don’t be the next Marvin Stone :\

    1. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      He still made more than Richards.

  44. bd2153

    Never got a REAL opportunity. Richards (freshman) should’ve waited his turn if their was waiting that needed to be done. What you going to wait till senior year to have a big season and hope to get drafted.

    1. notFromhere

      Agreed. Jacked up priorities with this system, if a guy that’s putting in the time and effort takes a seat to a freshman that didn’t rebound or score most games. Weird that a kid is your boy until he’s not a lottery pick, and then he gets less time than the walkons at the end of games.

  45. Headhurts

    If your a 5 star and your still at UK after your soph year, Cal will recruit over u and encourage u to leave,no more seniors unless your a walk-on, his son or a transfer based on need

    1. Rabbi Li

      1. Why doesn’t SKJ enter his name in the draft? (crickets)
      2. Cal has to recruit the best players he can get when scholarships open up. (hurrah)

      You are creating a narrative that doesn’t exist. The question then becomes who purpose do you have for manipulating reality? Are you simply ignorant and believe that, or a troll?

  46. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

    Good luck Sacha!

  47. Mashburnfan

    always be a CAT.. big fella thanks for some great games

  48. notFromhere

    Politics suck.

    Best of fortunes to the young man. Good lesson for him to learn and cut his losses early. No matter how good he played between now and next fall, he would still sit behind the next freshman Cal brought in for most of the year.

    This is where the air goes quickly oit of Cal saying it’s all about the players. Everyone wants to ignore it, but it’s plain as the nose on your face. No more hype and hide. No more raises.

    He’s no Jay Wright, even.

    He’s a good coach with a big blind spot. Tuvby’s was recruiting follow up and coaching up in game. Cal’s blind spot is his bench player development and memory. I know they’re always looking for their next coach, but can anyone coach here without their ego getting the better of them?

  49. chris43

    I’m a huge Cal fan but this is most likely a result of Richards getting quite a bit of undeserved play time along with a “tad” of new recruit coming in. He CLEARLY DESERVED much more playing time than Richards this year yet Richards typically ALWAYS got the start which resulted in QUITE A FEW….ZERO POINTS OR ZERO-TWO REBOUND GAMES….quite pathetic really. I fully understand not giving up on a guy BUT how about PLAY WHO DESERVES TO BE PLAYED?!? Now SKJ transfers and we HOPE Richards can develop and come on strong next year. I’d much rather it be the opposite with Richards transferring or playing his ass off to attempt to take SKJ’s minutes next year instead of the current situation. It just makes you wonder if SKJ got in the doghouse due to the “to sore to practice” nearly half of last season and was just never able to make it out unless he truly dominated? Hate to see him go but wish him the best.

    1. UK Big Board Update

      Thanks, coach.