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Calipari: EJ Montgomery was the difference in the game

© Kim Klement | USATSI

© Kim Klement | USATSI

EJ Montgomery didn’t score a point today, but according to John Calipari, he’s the reason Kentucky was able to come back and beat Florida. The freshman big man came in during the second half and infused the team with energy, pulling down rebounds, diving on the floor after balls, and blocking a shot.

“I’m so happy for EJ Montgomery,” Cal said. “It thought he was the difference in the game because we needed another big guy to do something, to go get balls, to come up off the floor, be active defensively. He guarded the ball.”

When Kentucky was down ten with 12:32 left, PJ Washington missed a free throw but EJ grabbed the rebound, which led to a bucket from Keldon Johnson and sparked a 9-0 run. Florida coach Mike White called that offensive rebound a game-changing play.

“The whole staff exhales when it happens. Those are big plays. Those are plays we stress a lot, we show on film. Winning plays for the team that executes them, and sometimes, deflating plays for the team it happens against. It was a big play.”

“EJ, when he came in, he made a big impact on the game,” Tyler Herro said. “He pretty much, besides PJ, EJ made the biggest change with our energy. He got a key offensive rebound off a free throw and it just went from there. He brought a lot of energy and did a great job.”


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

18 Comments for Calipari: EJ Montgomery was the difference in the game

  1. Wade
    7:08 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Yes he was

  2. syrin23
    7:11 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Cal didn’t look so happy with him when he fouled the guy shooting a three,

    • Ridge Runner
      7:14 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      What’s bad.. is he really didn’t foul him either.

    • michaelb
      7:17 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      Yea that was a terrible call

    • 4everUKblue
      7:36 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      Even the announcers both said that was not a foul. Man he fought for that rebound, I was proud of him the way he fought for it.

  3. Ridge Runner
    7:13 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Little disappointed with Reid’s play. So slow to react. I mean he’s solid under basket and takes up space.

    • RealCatsFan
      7:50 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah, but we need his rebounding. Just wish he would finish better under the basket. Maybe throw in a pump fake now and then.

    • timbo
      8:07 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      Reid is just too small to be elite effective against a team with size. He’s still going to contribute and battle, but he gets blocked over and over and struggles against bigs. He’s really going to need to develop another dimension to have an NBA career at his height. Same height as Zion, but the difference in natural athleticism is evident in those underneath struggles. If he’s not stronger than that opponent, it’s a long night for him. A major redeeming quality is his work ethic. He does outwork everyone he goes against.

    • michaelb
      9:42 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      Reid is gonna have games like that ( where he’s limited offensively ) when the opposition deploys a decent 7 footer . He still works hard on the glass & in the paint & can hit foul shots . With the starting five we have there’s gonna be games where people drop goose eggs , just gotta make sure we have 2/3 others warm

    • Aar
      11:22 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      He’s in a bit of a slump. Looks just a little low energy. A couple games ago, I was thinking that he might be a little sick. Regardless, I think he’s due for a big game soon.

  4. JMFATZ47
    8:13 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Its not his size. It’s his lack of vertical leaping ability that hurts him drastically

    • RAGE
      8:54 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      Travis is stronger than everybody he plays against… Lol

  5. bankshot
    8:27 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    I agree with Cal on that statement.

  6. J. Did
    10:01 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Coach speak.

    Travis Reid is huge for this team.

    But we need guys like E. J. to step up and contribute.We need every kid to step up in and at the right time. It is balance; teamwork. A good team has a stable of players who can fill the holes, at the right time….every game. This team seems to have that. Will it continue? Only they can answer.

  7. Aar
    11:25 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Montgomery was huge. So we’re Quickley and Baker. Loved that Cal has the confidence to have those guys in late in a tight game.

    • satcheluk
      8:37 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Weren’t quickly and Baker like 1-11 on 3s?

    • justaregulardude
      10:21 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Yes. And that is one aspect of the game. They – especially Baker – played solid defense. And Baker had some great passes – assists and hockey assists. And got in passing lanes on defense. He played really well despite not knocking down shots.

  8. Larkin123
    12:14 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

    EJ is playing better 3 point defense last two game. When we play the smaller teams if we can come in and keep guard like player at the 4 spot In front of him and still defend the three, that another piece. This team has a bunch of pieces. Its kind of cool to watch.