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EJ Montgomery declares for the NBA Draft, will forego eligibility

It’s official: EJ Montgomery has declared for the NBA Draft.

Montgomery just shared the news on Instagram, thanking his coaches, teammates, and fans for their support. A press release from UK confirms he is foregoing his eligibility, ending his time as a Wildcat.

“What an incredible honor it has been to play for not only one of the best schools in the country, but also the best fans,” Montgomery said. “When I decided to come to Kentucky, it was a dream of mine to win a national championship. I know my brothers and I were ready to go to war for our coaches, the university and Big Blue Nation to bring home the national title this year.

“The circumstances were unfortunate, but I am thankful that I was able to play for a great coach and coaching staff and compete every day in practice and in games to challenge myself to become a better all-around player.

“With that being said, I have decided to take the next step in my career and chase after my ultimate dream and declare for the NBA Draft. I would like to thank Coach Cal and the entire coaching staff for giving me this opportunity and challenging me to become a better player and a better young man. Also, my brothers for the grind and always having my back. I would like to thank my family and friends for all their support through this experience. And lastly, I would like to thank you, BBN!”

View this post on Instagram

Thank you BBN !

A post shared by Ej Montgomery (@_mont23) on

Montgomery appeared in 28 games during his sophomore season, starting 25. He averaged 6.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and totaled 31 total blocks, 12 steals and 17 assists.

“At 6-10 with perimeter skills, athleticism and an ability to block shots, someone is going to get a big-time prospect with EJ,” John Calipari said in a release. “His skill set is where the game is going. EJ has always had those tools, but what I’m so proud of is how he progressed, not only through his two seasons here but especially the last month of the season.

“I was excited for EJ going into the postseason because I really thought it was going to be a great opportunity to show all the work he’s put in. He was really playing his best basketball. I’m happy for EJ and his family and will continue to be here to help throughout this process.”

Kentucky’s entire starting lineup from the 2019-20 season has now entered the draft. Ashton Hagans was the first to announce the news, followed by Tyrese Maxey, Immanuel Quickley, and Nick Richards. When you add in the departures of Nate Sestina (graduation), Johnny Juzang (transfer) and Kahlil Whitney, Keion Brooks and Dontaie Allen will be Kentucky’s only returning players next season.

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.

97 Comments for EJ Montgomery declares for the NBA Draft, will forego eligibility

  1. KentuckyBoy
    11:44 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Good luck! You’re gonna need it.

    • UKFaninCO
      11:54 am April 15, 2020 Permalink


    • Lip Man 1
      1:05 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Agreed. Can’t see him getting drafted at all. G-league or Europe or bust!

    • Jesus H. Chrysler
      5:45 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      I suggest he officially change his name to: E.G.league Montgomery

  2. gasman01
    11:44 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Well how about the player manager? Has he declared also??

  3. meeksfor3
    11:44 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Make sure you have an up to date passport.

    • KentuckyBoy
      11:47 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Truer words have never been spoken.

    • Wilfred Smith
      2:07 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      He may want to practice bagging groceries.

  4. KYJelly
    11:45 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    In the words of a very wise man who appeared in classic films such as “The Waterboy”

    “Aw, we suck again”

  5. Catcasey1
    11:45 am April 15, 2020 Permalink


    • Bluehender
      12:50 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      You mean bye?

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      1:47 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink


  6. chris43
    11:47 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t understand it but it is what it is. He wanted to go pro last year….wouldn’t have been drafted….stayed another year…..improved some but by no means a drastic jump…..still not on any mock drafts (that I’ve seen nor do I think he’ll be drafted). Wish him the best but he better be ready to work his tail off in G League.

    • EdC
      12:55 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      It’s like people who ride the stock market downward to sell.

  7. Alex90
    11:47 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    It’s his decision to make and I hope he succeeds but I just can’t see how he thinks he’s ready for anything but foreign leagues. He had the perfect example to look at all year on why to return but good luck to him.

  8. Headhurts
    11:48 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Come on down Mr Haarms, thanks for that game winning tip in our last game EJ

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      1:49 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      You nailed it. We need him even more now.

  9. JTHinton
    11:49 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    WOW! Just wow.

  10. Basteballer
    11:50 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Ah, man… I like EJ. I really think next season he could have made a Nick Richards step forward. I wish him the best. We’re gonna miss him.

  11. CatfaninCinci
    11:51 am April 15, 2020 Permalink


    Marquis Teague.
    Doron Lamb.
    Archie Goodwin.
    Daniel Orten.
    Wenyen Gabriel.

    EJ Montgomery. Add your name to that list. Guys we’ll use as a “See why you need to stay” example.

  12. friendsofcoal
    11:51 am April 15, 2020 Permalink


  13. UKBigBlueForever
    11:52 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    At least he won the last game for us with a tip-in… Good luck wherever you land

  14. UKgrad80
    11:52 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Another poor decision by a UK player. This system is just not working and the fans are losing interest in the program due to this continuing revolving door. Thank god we have a football program!

    • gasman01
      11:54 am April 15, 2020 Permalink


    • riandri
      12:04 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink


    • tncatrn
      12:19 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Yeah and they all seem to post right here when they dont agree with someones decision. And those are the same ones that dont get that to be competitive in TODAYS world you have to use this system. Hell even stubborn ended Coach K saw that he had to adapt. If you want to just hope for a bid in the tournament every year we can go back to Tubbys days and recruit 4 stars that’ll be here 3 or 4 years and then maybe sniff a Sweet 16 every 4 years. Yes this decision sucks…but it wasnt Cals to make it was EJs…and the revolving door isnt a reflection of the system it is a reflection of the state of college basketball…so keep being all doom and gloom if it makes u feel better but this aint changing until the one and done rule goes away

    • UKgrad80
      12:43 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      If you haven’t noticed the fan base is not as interested as before your blind! No one has the revolving door we have. We lose the whole team almost every year. What’s really sad is most the players don’t make it.

    • CatsfaninFL
      12:25 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      This fan isnt losing interest. I lost interest with BCG or Tubby getting out recruited and playing us into an 8/9 seed 2nd round loss. You need some perspective. I’ll take Cal and his “system” of developing and winning. Thanks though! Hope you have a better day!

    • KentuckyBoy
      12:45 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      It ain’t perfect, but we are in the hunt every year. I hate it as a fan because we don’t have a lot of time to get to know players, or watch them develop. Small price to pay to be relevant.

    • JoeMoney333
      1:16 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Fans losing interest? You might be but don’t mistake your opinions for the populations.

    • KaliforniaKat
      3:36 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      By fan base losing interest, you mean the one percent of KY fans that post on KSR?!?! Enjoy another football season of knowing that we will never win a NC… yes, we are getting better, but let’s not fool ourselves… for us to win a NC in football would take a ton of luck… that’s something our football program has never had… I do wish them the best and will continue to cheer for them, but if we want another championship it’s either with our cheerleaders, or our Bball team… Quit watching if you’re not interested…

  15. kydrummer
    11:54 am April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Good luck EJ and thanks for playing for the BBN!

  16. Swizzle
    12:02 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink


  17. Buffalo Cat
    12:03 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    I think he should have worded it, “follow my dream to play professional basketball and never go to class again.” Declaring for the NBA draft is no more than lip service. He has virtually no chance of being drafted. But he can certainly play professional basketball if he wants to play for substandard coaches in small and mostly empty gymnasiums. Or he can make some cash by playing in Latvia or some similar place.
    Maybe where he is is his ceiling. But his improvement level would not be better anywhere he plays next year than it would have been staying at UK.
    But hey, as Cal says, Kentucky isn’t for everyone.

  18. dukehater71
    12:05 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    UK will never, I repeat never, win another NC with this type of system. 2012 was special because we had a once in a generation team. UK blew it in their other chances, especially 2015. It seems players come to UK now only because they want a quick path to the NBA. Please NBA, change the rule to allow high school players to enter the league straight out of HS and then put a rule in place that if you do choose to go to college you are required to stay a minimum of two to three years. Isn’t that something that Cal has lobbied for? Please make that happen!

    • jarred_combs
      12:22 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      This is a stupid comment. This year we had what everyone calls for, a team not led by freshman, and if not for the pandemic had a decent shot at a National Championship. I’ll take a system that has us in title contention every year, and I like being able to watch the best players in the country. The way you want it, we never would’ve had Wall, Cousins, AD, towns. Fox, Monk, Randle, the twins, MKG, Knight, Terrence Jones, Knox, Maxey, probably 75% of all our players of the last 11 years. Also if you’re an NBA fan it’s better for that league too. Players come in better equipped to handle it. I’ll take being penciled in for a sweet 16 at minimum every year. Only twice it didn’t happen. Once with Nerlens, and the other with Ulis and Murray.

    • dukehater71
      12:45 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Ok that’s fine, you go ahead and continue to accept mediocrity. At UK it’s all about national championships not sweet 16’s or elite 8’s. And to not win it with all that talent you mention shows that there is a problem. I am no fan of the NBA. I will be if they implement that rule.

    • Bluehender
      12:56 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Accept mediocrity? You’re an idiot

    • EdC
      12:57 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      The team also had a real Senior who cared and ultimately gutted his way to getting reasonable NBA time.

    • UKgrad80
      1:14 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Agree with all of it!

  19. CahillsCrossingNT
    12:06 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    This program is in failing health.

    • CatsfaninFL
      12:26 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Not as bad as your mental health. I’ll make sure and check in with you next year when you’re back on bandwagon

    • Bluehender
      12:57 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      He’s never been on the bandwagon. He’s no fan…

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      1:53 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      CatsfaninFL, that made me chuckle.

  20. jarred_combs
    12:06 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Why are people acting like this is terrible? There are a lot of people we could have that are better than EJ. I still wish the kid well, but I believe this opens us up to have a much better player. Having EJ could’ve potential driven blackshear to Florida, or other players away. Now, it’s wide open for any big who wants the biggest spotlight possible in college to step in and be a star. I think we’ll get at least 1-2 people that will be better than EJ would’ve been.

  21. bbn606
    12:07 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Yeah, NBA teams are lining up to draft someone averaging 6 points a game. Can you say G league or D league or how about Italy or China?

  22. dave1964
    12:07 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    It’s really kind of sad who in the heck is in these kids ears you might play somewhere next year but it won’t be in the NBA, he made little to not jump in talent from freshman year this is a sad joke get your passport ready.

  23. Han
    12:08 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    When will you all learn that we’ll be fine? Every year it’s the same hot takes.

  24. UKLugo
    12:13 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    I’m a fan of Cal’s but this happens here at UK now more than anywhere else- fringe players transferring or going pro early. Even other bluebloods recruiting 5 stars keep some of their kids more than we do here. Why is that?

    • UKgrad80
      1:16 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Yes it does happen here more than anywhere.

  25. Headhurts
    12:23 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Some kids and their parents make bad choices, they have that right to do so, excited to see who we get now.

  26. Swizzle
    12:25 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Glad ej is gone hope he has a long career messing up the cash register footlocker.

  27. jarred_combs
    12:25 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    This pandemic forcing these players home is the cause for all this. Part a lack in maturity, and part having the wrong people in their ears. Unfortunately for hagans and Montgomery they made bad decisions in my mind. I even think Richards and Quickley could’ve benefited from coming back.

    • desertCard
      5:20 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      yes because there must be a pandemic every year. Or at least since Cal came to UK.

  28. Heavy C
    12:30 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink


  29. dhard
    12:30 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Good luck EJ. Thanks for being part of the BBN for 2 years. I truly hope you do not regret this decision and you are able to fulfill your dream. I believe if you will talk with Nick Richards, you will find the next year to be most beneficial to you.

  30. BlueWildcat_99
    12:49 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    When did it become the new “normal” for players that have absolutely no shot at getting drafted – like EJ and Kahlil – to leave after 1 or 2 years max? It used to be that if you were 1st round you definitely went – full stop. If you were high in the second round you had to think about it – some would go and some wouldn’t. If you were low second round or not getting drafted then you almost always came back. And I’m not talking 100 years ago. Just 10 years ago the system worked this way MOST of the time (certainly not all of the time). Now it’s like these kids think they can develop just as well playing in the G-League or overseas and it just isn’t true. They have immediate expectations, more games, less practice, and obviously a lot of stress they’ve never had to deal with before. Just blows my mind. In any case, I hope this departure can help us get a few transfers or new signees.

    12:53 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    It was not EJ’s decision to leave UK. It was his dad’s. It was not Kahlil’s decision to leave UK. It was his dad’s. I really do believe that and I also believe that to be the case in most decisions to leave early. I especially believe this to be the case for Whitney. There is no way he called mom and dad and said hey I’m tired of this and I am just going to quit on my teamates in the middle of the season and come home.

    So when you get aggrevated by a players decision to leave just remember there was probably a 90% chance his family made that decision for him.

  32. UKFanSC
    1:01 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Very surprised to see this. With no assurance of being drafted at all he is essentially rolling the dice on his life’s future. The very best he can hope for is the developmental league, or playing overseas. He likely could’ve done either of these things directly out of high school. One of the worst player decisions I’ve seen in 30 years.

    • BlueGrass
      1:16 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Daniel Orton was worse.

    • Robkycats54
      1:56 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      No way was Daniel Orton decision worst…. He got drafted in the first round with guaranteed money in the millions…. But EJ smh this is terrible, although I wish him the best this decision makes little to no sense, Kentucky is my team but losing 8 guys in 1 season says a lot especially when only 1 is guaranteed to be in the first round & non of the others are fringe 1st round to early 2nd round, & this is a weak draft, something not right, everywhere else kids stay etc Duke and UNC although I hate both programs players return, even at Villanova but Kentucky we lose a whole team smh & transfers are winning not a championship…. You need guys who knows how to operate within the system from being in it at least a year or two & possibly 3, but maybe we get Greg brown now fingers crossed

  33. JT55
    1:05 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Next season will be a struggle.

  34. Poopsicles
    1:05 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    What I don’t understand is why did Cal stop recruiting Jalen Green & Josh Christoper? Given the state of the program at least staying in touch would have been huge. We got 2 great wings, but imagine with all of these losses what a player of their caliber could have done for us right now. UK was Christopher’s dream school….should have stayed on him. People clamoring for Haarms realize he averaged 8ppg… PURDUE!!!! He’s not going to suddenly become a force in the SEC or on the national stage. We continue to struggle recruiting big’s the last several years. I am all for Cal and the team, but strategy needs to be altered for the team to truly be elite and prioritize more players earlier on and not just a handful.

    • Robkycats54
      2:05 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      I agree why not continue recruiting those kids… But we went after cade Cunningham knowing we didn’t have a chance smh made no sense smh Jalen & Josh would’ve committed to Kentucky but we went after Scottie Barnes smh even offered him first & a yr & a half later still was recruiting him made no sense either but like I said above maybe we get Greg brown & haarms fingers crossed

  35. calbert
    1:06 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    They are declaring because they are worried there won’t be a 2020-2021 season.

  36. Newtype
    1:08 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    F*** off with all the dumbass haters on here. Above all else I hope the kid finds success one way or another in life after UK.

  37. BlueGrass
    1:09 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Time to face facts…college basketball is broken and it is trending to be even worse.

    It’s not just UK…although it’s certainly worse here than some schools. It’s happening all over college basketball in some form. Add this to the G-League going after high school kids and competing with college for the kids and you’ve got a huge mess. It’s just a matter of time before that becomes a viable route to the NBA (right now I think competing against grown men and looking bad is keeping kids going to college, but two levels of competition in the G-League would solve that).

    • bosch8184
      2:36 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      Exactly correct. And they’ve just stood by and watch their product get absolutely wrecked and used. Mind blowing business decision.

  38. bosch8184
    1:37 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    What EJ is saying for those of you too dense to see it, is that he’d rather ride the bus in Turkey or the G League than have his balls constantly tickled by you grown men jersey chasers.

    Yeah Calipari couldn’t win a NC with Cousins/Wall/Patterson/Bledsoe or Towns/Booker/WCS but he was totally gonna win one with Richards and EJ. You people are morons.

    • justaguyinthebackrow
      5:15 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      K couldn’t win with Zion &co. I guess he’ll neven win a championship. Or maybe a single elimination tournament requires more than just the names on your roster.

  39. JT55
    1:45 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    The downward spiral for this program after the Wisconsin game continues.

    • UKgrad80
      2:05 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink


  40. UKgrad80
    2:08 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Wouldn’t call Allen a returning player! Going to be a long long season! Then they will find some reason leave the program.

  41. Shark
    2:10 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Thank God.

  42. BobbyBlue
    2:11 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Only solution for college basketball is for the NBA to let High School kids enter the league directly and the ones that don’t should be required to stay 3 years if they chose college, just like baseball.
    Emmerts solution: let college kids transfer and not have to sit out a year.
    What leadership from the $4 million man !

  43. BobbyBlue
    2:13 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    I hope EJ can reach his dream before he gets to old to compete.

  44. millertim
    2:15 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Seems like a nice young man but wow… he’s getting HORRIBLE advice from someone! He will NOT get drafted and may not make a G- League or D- League squad—- there’s grown men playing in those leagues and he’s not strong enough physically or mentally to handle it. Another year as THE MAN in the paint at UK would have been huge for him but…

      4:47 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

      The G league is the not so new name for the D league.

  45. Biglaw Dawgin'
    2:38 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Wait, “foregoing eligibility?” Why would he do that, doesn’t he have until June to pull out of the draft if he wanted? He’s just saying “I don’t care if no team expresses any interest whatsoever, there’s no way i’m coming back?”

  46. DelrayCat
    2:41 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    It all about the Culture at UK that Cal has created. The players know that is the system in Lexington. It isn’t about the state or the fans, the school and all its history, and it surely isn’t about a college degree. It is about getting paid AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
    Personally, I think Cal’s entire schtick is getting somewhat tired and played out. His sideline screaming and antics are worsening, and his sense of making UK a quasi-professional setting makes this constant turnover less and less fun.

  47. Biglaw Dawgin'
    2:42 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Also, under the new rules he could go through the entire draft process and, if he doesn’t get drafted, he can come back to school. “A player who declares for the draft and stays in it loses his college eligibility when he is drafted. He can sign with any agent following an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee, and if he ends up undrafted, he has the opportunity to return to his school for at least another year only after terminating all agreements with that agent, effective with the 2019 draft.” Wiki. So why forego his eligibility?

  48. Bluehender
    2:50 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Let’s just throw this out there. Maybe there won’t be a college basketball season this year. And maybe all 5 starters (and others) are talking about it. If there’s no season their draft status wouldn’t be any better next year than this year. Who knows? I’m just sayin…

  49. stringmusic78
    3:03 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    I watched and waited to see this guy come alive and he never really did. I cant see how anyone with good insight would encourage this kid to leave so maybe its his family? Interested to hear Cal’s take on this decision.

  50. snoopjdawg
    3:57 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    These guys can make 300-500k overseas. It’s not just about the NBA. EJ left to make money. Calipari reloads every year and wins 30 games a year. He has won a national title. When he leaves, the haters will want him back, but they will never admit it.

  51. Gazza
    4:38 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    I’m tired of being nice. HE’s an IDIOT!

  52. BMT
    4:45 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t necessarily blame Calipari for the revolving door. I can’t fathom a scenario where Cal is telling EJ that he’s ready for the NBA. But it’s EJ’s decision to make and as someone said earlier, some players just make bad decisions. And once that decision has been made, it’s not like Calipari can put our a press release saying “I think he’s making a big mistake!”. That would put a bit of a damper on recruiting, I’d think. Obviously EJ (or his family or whoever is in his ear) believe that he’s “ready”. His dad hinted at that just a week or two ago. There is another possibility here, too: maybe he knows that he’s not ready for the NBA but still feels like it’s in his best interest to enter the draft now while teams are more likely to believe that he still has “potential”. If he returned to college for another year or even two and didn’t really improve much more, then he’s starting to leave doubt about how much potential he actually has. Sort of the “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” approach to getting drafted. Regardless, it’s not the decision that *I* would have made if I were him but I wish him the best of luck and hopefully he’ll prove me wrong and have a long, successful career.

  53. Wild Turkey 101
    5:16 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    Makes a scholarship available Jonathan Kuminga!

  54. michaelb
    7:31 pm April 15, 2020 Permalink

    There’s no way Cal told ej that this was his best option

  55. tdub
    7:47 am April 16, 2020 Permalink

    Wish he would have stayed another year. I feel he could have been much better with another year, much like Nick was in his third. Lao a shame the direction he got from his selfish dad. I wish him the best but doubt it will be in the league.

  56. tdub
    7:48 am April 16, 2020 Permalink


  57. Big Sexy
    10:22 am April 16, 2020 Permalink

    Rosetta Stone has a sale going in right now. May want to look into the one that teaches mandarin, EJ.

    Not liking this culture we have right now. It seems the attitude is the longer you stay the bigger failure you are. Cal needs to change something up.