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What will Kentucky Basketball’s 2018-19 roster look like?

Where does Kentucky’s 2018-19 roster stand after last night’s draft decisions? There are still a few pieces on the move, but here’s our best guess at what the Wildcats will look like after the dust settles.

* Denotes a player not technically on the roster yet


Quade Green

We saw how much it hurt Kentucky not to have a returning guard last season. This year, Calipari will have one in Quade Green, who averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 assists his freshman year. Quade missed some games due to eye and back injuries and lost his starting spot to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but will provide crucial leadership and experience in a young and loaded backcourt.

Immanuel Quickley

Quickley is sometimes an afterthought in next year’s backcourt, but shouldn’t be. Despite being hampered by injuries at the end of his senior year, Quickley is a reliable floor general with a relentless work ethic that creates for others and can knock down an open shot.

Ashton Hagans*

Hagans is still in the 2019 class, but is on track to reclassify to 2018 in the next month or so. If he does, Kentucky will regain what they lost in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, i.e., a guard who can get to the basket. Hagans is a dynamic playmaker who can burn defenders off the dribble and distribute; he led the Adidas Gauntlet in assists by a wide margin. He’s also a tenacious defender. Simply put, you want the ball in Hagans’ hands. If he makes it to Lexington this summer, he will be Kentucky’s starting point guard in the fall.

Jemarl Baker

Often forgotten, Baker will return this fall after missing last year with a knee injury. His teammates claim he’s far and away the squad’s best shooter, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.

Tyler Herro

Herro is much more than the three-point specialist he’s billed as. At 6’5″, 200 lbs., Herro can score from anywhere and is also comfortable bringing the ball up the floor if needed. Once a Wisconsin commit, Herro developed a thick skin and chip on his shoulder after being booed routinely by Badger fans his senior year. A tough competitor, he will only elevate his game going against elite talent in practice, a challenge he’s ready for:

Brad Calipari

With a plethora of guards on the roster, Brad probably won’t be called into action as often as he was last year, but should exhibit more confidence to fire away when he gets an open shot — even with the crowd demanding it.

Jonny David

The only senior currently on the squad, David will be tasked with keeping the sideline loose and ready for dunk and lob celebrations. If history is any indication, he will also steal the spotlight in postseason locker room interviews.


Keldon Johnson

Johnson can play small forward, shooting guard, or, if you listen to John Calipari, even point guard if needed. Described as a “dog” by his future teammates, Johnson is a fierce competitor that won’t back down from anyone. Johnson will be the highlight maker on this squad and is a notorious trash talker. Between him, Hagans, Herro, and Quickley, Kentucky’s about to get a much-needed dose of nasty.

PJ Washington

Washington’s decision to come back makes this squad much more dangerous. PJ can bully his way to the basket and finish with the best of them, and with an offseason to work on his jumper, can take his game to another level. PJ will be the anchor down low, the perfect complement to EJ Montgomery’s length and athleticism.

Reid Travis*

If Travis joins the roster, Kentucky will have another bruiser down low ala PJ. With over three years of playing experience and a degree from Stanford, Travis would provide invaluable experience to a team that needs it. A double-double machine, he is a force in the paint, so much so that one draft prospect told Jeff Goodman Travis was the strongest player he’s ever played against.

EJ Montgomery

A 6’10” lefty that can stretch the floor? Sounds like Calipari’s dream big. Montgomery’s got length, athleticism, ball-handling skills, and can score from almost anywhere. He needs to add strength, but will see plenty of time as a stretch four next year.

Zan Payne

Kenny Payne’s son is still recovering from a knee injury, but once healthy, can play either guard or forward. A standout player at Lexington Catholic, he averaged 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds in his senior season.


Nick Richards

Richards struggled his freshman year, but we saw glimpses of his potential throughout the season. Kenny Payne said Richards’ problems stemmed from self-doubt, but he’s got all the tools to be special if he can get out of his head. Players often make the biggest leap between their freshman and sophomore years, making this upcoming season a pivotal one for the seven-footer.


Is it August yet?


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.

19 Comments for What will Kentucky Basketball’s 2018-19 roster look like?

  1. ukcamel
    12:54 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

    I’d love to see a starting lineup of Green, Hagans, Johnson, Washington and Reid (and if he doesn’t come here, Richards). Herro and Montgomery first off the bench and they or Quickley or even Baker can of course end up starting if they play better.

    I don’t think we will see a platoon. There will end up being 1-2 guys from the top 9-10 that will only play spot minutes. Might not be the same 1-2 guys all year or even game to game. Washington, Reid, Johnson and Hagans are the only guys I’d be shocked if they don’t see 25-30 minutes every game.

    • JTHinton
      1:07 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

      You don’t think Quade sees 25-30/gm?

    • ukcamel
      1:29 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

      I think he might, but I also think there will be a lot of competition from Herro and Quickley for minutes at the PG spot, and I don’t think any of them is a clear front-runner, even though I’d pick Green.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      2:06 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

      People soon forget, quade was a complete liability on defensive end last year. All the struggles in first 7-8 games were solely based on not having a PG that could get to the rim, or defend. Thank the heavens SGA stepped up and took the spot, and Quade could come off bench and play 2 guard. I hoping he improves, and helps take off pressure from Hagans and IQ, but if we need Quade to get 30 minutes a game, we won’t be that good

    • Luether
      10:43 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

      My sources say that Cal will Jon Hood Tyler Herro…

  2. jahanc2uky
    1:43 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

    Our the 3 best players for bext years squad better than Fox, Monk, & Bam? I would agrue no. We had a pretty decent supporting cast that year too. I think next year we contend for a Championship. I just dont think next years squad is in the top 5 og Cal’s best.

    • jackmathers879
      3:06 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

      Have you ever spoken English in your life? Learn how to proofread your posts so you don’t look so idiotic.

    • jahanc2uky
      6:19 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

      Hey Jack… sorry, next time instead of posting a thought on a phone, I will write an outline, rough draft, and final copy.

    • unbiasedfan
      7:24 am June 1, 2018 Permalink

      Aye pal, this is a site for all Big Blue fans to come to get all the information we can because we all love BBN so much. Lot of us are fortunate enough to be in the gym watching everyday as ALL of us would probably like to because we are passionate fans. But if all you can do is get on here and read a post and then downgrade someone who is reading and excited for the season just like the rest of us is absolutely pathetic. What about telling someone they look pathetic because they misspelled a word. Then again you could be a Duke fan trolling KSR’s website. Either way, take a chill pill and treat everyone the way you’d want someone to treat you or you child.

    • tree_gardener
      4:40 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

      What kind of post was that man. At least show some effort

  3. Ez21
    2:33 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

    I argue the supporting cast all had major weaknesses w Bam, Fox, and Monk. Willis d, Hawkins size. I mean we had to count on humper to have the game of his life vs unc bc we had no depth.

  4. Czimm12
    2:37 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

    Cmon at least give Jonny and Brad their own squares geez

  5. Robkycats54
    2:48 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

    Pg-Quade Green
    Sf- Johnson
    Pf- PJ
    C- E.J

    SF- Herro
    C- Richards

    You will get experience & freshmen on each lineup, but we really needed wenyen back, I’m sad he left, he presented match-up problems being able to the 3, 4, or the 5……

    • jahanc2uky
      6:24 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

      EJ, Quickley, Baker, and Richards are absolutely 7-10 on depth chart. This team goes as far, as those 4 will take them. I would argue 1-6 is good enough to be a top 10 team, if 7-10 are inconsistent and bad defensively, we are not a top 3 team. Also, 6th best team Cal has had going into season.

  6. Bull Filmer
    5:26 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

    Not getting my hopes up in re Reid Travis. Too much hype. Been burned too much by KSRHYPE (another word for stool). Remember Zion Williamson?

    Would be uber-delighted Reid Travis he signs on. Just not buying into it.

    AAMF – just last week KENTUCKY was a lock for a spot in the regional at LOUISVILLE – which never panned out.

    And, like PEOPLE MAG and THE NAT’L ENQUIRER ……This is KSR:

    “University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.”

  7. SuperTroy18
    8:37 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

    Would love to get Travis on the roster, but I think this season’s success might hinge on whether or not Richards can get past those hurdles he hit last season. If he takes a big step forward, this team can really do something special. If he doesn’t show much consistency, and falls back into old, bad habits then we might be in trouble.