Kentucky Sports Radio will preview every player heading into UK’s Bahamas trip starting on August 8th. The complete schedule can be found here and all games are on SEC Network.
Basics: Kentucky’s walk-ons for the 2018-2019 season are Jonny David (senior), Brad Calipari (junior) and Zan Payne (freshman). David is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard, Calipari a 6-foot, 180-pound shooting guard and Payne a 6-foot-4, 225-pound wing.
Also, it isn’t set in stone that any of these players will be official walk-ons. UK has only given out 10 scholarships this season, which means there are a few available.
2017-2018: UK didn’t get much out of Calipari or David last season. David appeared in two games last season, the Louisville blowout and the second round of the NCAA tournament against Buffalo. Calipari made an appearance in 12 games but mostly in garbage time during blowouts.
Payne averaged 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds for Lexington Catholic last season. A knee injury ended his season in February and the plan is for Payne to rehab this upcoming season and return to the court most likely in 2019-2020.
Bahamas Expectations: This is a bad year for walk-ons at Kentucky. It’s never a great time to be a walk-on at Kentucky if you’re looking for a plethora of minutes, but this year UK is loaded with scholarship players. John Calipari could go nine deep if he wanted this upcoming season but even if he narrows his rotation to six or seven like he normally does it seems highly unlikely one of the walk-ons break through.
But Caliapri held his own in the open practice last week. He hit a few tough three-pointers and wasn’t a major liability defensively. Calipari and David will almost certainly get some minutes in the Bahamas, but if Calipari could hit a few threes during the games it could greatly help his confidence heading into the season.
Highlights (some of the highlight videos in this series may have language NSFW. Some won’t. Follow your heart):
T.J.’s Player Preview Schedule (click the player’s name to read previous posts):
July 24th: Reid Travis
July 25th: P.J. Washington
July 26th: Jemarl Baker
July 27th: Nick Richards
July 30th: Quade Green
July 31st: E.J. Montgomery
August 1st: Tyler Herro
August 2nd: Immanuel Quickley
August 3rd: Keldon Johnson
August: 6th: Ashton Hagans
August 7th: Walk-ons