Lost in all of the Ashton Hagans and Keldon Johnson talk (which happened for two totally opposite reasons, of course), was EJ Montgomery, who played a very solid game against the Georgia Bulldogs.
The big man played just 14 minutes, but he came away with six points, six rebounds, three steals and an assist. He was well-rounded and contributed across the board for the Wildcats.
Before the game, John Calipari touched on Montgomery’s talents and what he has to do to earn more playing time.
“When I watch the tape, he’s never bad – I watch the tape of EJ, and he’s not bad,” Calipari said. “But like, I’m saying to him, ‘There are games I’m just trying to win, and it’s not who hasn’t played enough. We get on a roll; I’m not worried about that. We gotta win the game.’”
— Wildcat Dunks (@WildcatDunks) January 16, 2019
Against Georgia, Montgomery helped the team do just that. But he wasn’t alone. Three out of the team’s four bigs had solid nights in Athens: Nick Richards stole the show (four points, seven rebounds, three blocks), while PJ Washington finally started to get back into his groove (ten points, six rebounds). Reid Travis still struggled a bit, but having Montgomery’s contributions to pick up the “slack” was huge for Kentucky.
“The advantage we have with the number we have [is] you’re not pressured to play great because if you just don’t play great, we’ll play somebody else and we’ll be fine,” Calipari said before the Georgia game. “So whether it’s Nick [Richards] playing instead of Reid [Travis], whether it’s EJ [Montgomery] playing in front of PJ [Washington]… They have to perform when they get their minutes and when they get in.”
EJ Montgomery got his minutes yesterday – in fact, he saw more minutes against Georgia than he’s seen against any SEC opponent so far. And he took advantage of it.