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John Calipari visits five-star forward EJ Montgomery, Kentucky getting “extremely aggressive”

Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images

John Calipari may have struck out on some of his latest top targets, but he’s putting on the full-court press to ensure that doesn’t happen again to close out the class of 2018.

Coach Cal and Kenny Payne are both in Georgia to see five-star forward EJ Montgomery, the second-best remaining prospect on the recruiting board.

Larry Thompson, Montgomery’s high school coach, posted the following picture this afternoon during Kentucky’s visit to practice.

Payne visited the 6-foot-10 power forward at Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga. last Wednesday, where an understanding of a scholarship offer was on the table.

He let him know he could commit to Kentucky at any time, but Payne wanted his team’s Hall of Fame head coach to break the news and extend the offer in person, something we are expected to hear about after their visit concludes tonight.

Montgomery committed to Auburn back in September of 2016, but following the school’s involvement in the latest FBI scandal, he decided to open his recruitment again.

Though the talented prospect recently cut his list to 11 schools, Rivals basketball recruiting analyst Clint Jackson believes the final decision will come down to three blue blood programs and two wildcards.

In an interview with Eric Bossi of, Wheeler High School head coach Larry Thompson talked about Kentucky’s increased interest, and just how interested his star forward is in suiting up in blue and white.

They have been extremely aggressive,” Thompson said of Kentucky. “I got a text from them right before they played Tennessee. Coach [John] Calipari is supposed to come for practice today. Coach [Kenny] Payne wanted Coach Cal to make the offer official today. I think he’s definitely interested. I mean, it is Kentucky.

Though he only has upcoming visits scheduled to North Carolina and Duke, it is widely expected Montgomery adds a visit to Kentucky on the itinerary in the very near future.

When he finally makes it on campus, all bets are off.

According to Rivals’ Eric Bossi, UNC and Duke have garnered the most attention as of late, but it’s important to look at Coach Cal’s track record on the recruiting trail.

“When John Calipari comes into the picture, it’s never a good idea to count him out,” he said.

Watch Montgomery work in his latest mixtape:

Bring him on home, Cal.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

9 Comments for John Calipari visits five-star forward EJ Montgomery, Kentucky getting “extremely aggressive”

  1. shelby
    7:30 pm February 7, 2018 Permalink

    REALLY hope this young man becomes a Cat! I think he is exactly what we need; he’d be great in Cal’s system.

  2. DelrayCat
    7:35 pm February 7, 2018 Permalink

    Well…he can dunk.
    Not a single made basket in that entire video beyond 5 ft.
    However, EJ is a really skilled ball-handler for a big.
    A very good player no doubt.

    • Rembrandt
      8:23 am February 8, 2018 Permalink

      Bigs expected back next year are Gabriel, Killeya Jones, and probably Richards. Richards has NBA size and athleticism. While probable to return for one more year, Richards has another month of regular season development and could elect to attend the pre-draft camp if invited. After recent developments, Wynyard might not be back. We obviously need another big, and Montgomery is the only known option unless Wiseman reclasssifies. Montgomery is a strong rebounder and shot blocker. His offensive game needs more development, and Kenny Payne is the perfect coach to do that. Assuming Wiseman doesn’t reclassify, if UK doesn’t sign Montgomery, we might not have enough baseline players to compete with the better teams on our schedule. I don’t see many reasons to think Cal can overcome Duke’s and UNC’s head start. He probably should have recruited Montgomery earlier. But UK is on Montgomery’s list, so Cal should go for it. Apparently, he is. Hope we get Montgomery.

  3. silverado
    7:53 pm February 7, 2018 Permalink

    Loping down the court after a made basket – every time – this kid will have a rude awakening re: college speed. Nice footwork and moves around the basket!

  4. Duuuuuude
    8:30 pm February 7, 2018 Permalink

    Wow….seems very agile and nice hands. I am sure he would develop more range at the next level, but we need a dude who can fight to get buckets under the basket and protect the rim.

  5. RealCatsFan
    8:36 pm February 7, 2018 Permalink

    IF he succumbs to the vampire in Durham someone needs to put a trace on those bills falling out of that duffel bag.

  6. Jonathan40330
    12:00 am February 8, 2018 Permalink

    So we are pursuing this young man aggressively, yet Rivals basketball recruiting analyst Clint Jackson states, ” … and maybe Kentucky”, in regards to the major players in his recruitment? It doesn’t exactly make you feel like UK is in good position.

  7. Cryingtheblues
    4:30 am February 8, 2018 Permalink

    Hope I’m wrong but he’s more than likely Duke bound. Damn I hope NOT!

    • Rembrandt
      8:32 am February 8, 2018 Permalink

      The problem here is that Bagley and Carter will be lottery picks, so Duke can offer Montgomery a legitimate playing opportunity on a team featuring an elite perimeter and transition game. Cal must convince Montgomery that a better opportunity exists for him at UK. That won’t be easy. But Knox will be gone, so there is a rationale for Montgomery to start or at least share a baseline position with Gabriel if he comes in and competes hard. Kenny Payne is the key to Montgomery’s recruitment.