EJ Montgomery has been making major strides throughout the past few games, and Calipari has taken note.
The freshman finished with just eight points tonight, but he brought a certain energy and aggression to the floor, while also grabbing seven rebounds and two blocks with just one turnover in 26 minutes. He could be a difference-maker for this team, but in order to do that, first he has to get on the floor.
“Now, EJ Montgomery’s going to have to play more, just how it is. So someone’s going to have to play less,” Calipari said after tonight’s victory. “That’s how it is.”
While Calipari admits Montgomery’s first-half performance wasn’t totally up to his standard, he says the big man made up for it after the break.
“First half, he didn’t dive on the floor. Guess what? I absolutely ripped him,” Calipari said. “Second half, he dove twice for balls. So it’s, again, if I accept what they want to give, that is unacceptable.”
Montgomery is just a freshman. But at the end of the day, the Cats need him.
“He’s going to make some mistakes and he’s going to get pushed sometimes,” Calipari said. “But you’ve got to have separators in the game at some point that can make a play out of nothing. He does that.”