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Pick your 2018-19 Kentucky Basketball Starting Lineup

After this week’s draft decisions, Kentucky’s 2018-19 roster is one step closer to being final. We’re still waiting on Ashton Hagans to reclassify and Stanford grad transfer Reid Travis to pick Kentucky over Villanova, but it’s a Friday, so let’s have some fun and pick our ideal starting lineups.

I’ll go first:

G: Ashton Hagans
G: Quade Green
G/F: Keldon Johnson
F: Reid Travis
F: PJ Washington

Obviously, this is contingent on Travis coming to Kentucky, but if he does, I like the idea of going small and playing both Travis and Washington. Depending on matchups, you can rotate EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards in for length and Tyler Herro and Jemarl Baker in for shooting. Immanuel Quickley can sub in for either Hagans or Green. There are so many directions you can go in with this roster, which is why next season is going to be so much fun.

Pick your starting five below and explain yourself in the comments.


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.

33 Comments for Pick your 2018-19 Kentucky Basketball Starting Lineup

  1. KYcats11
    12:16 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    After doing this, I just realized how loaded we really are.

  2. FroggyFrog
    12:29 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    Hagans has an extremely quick first step and is a terrific on ball defender. Our defense will start with him. Quads will provide veteran leadership and a nice outside shot. Keldon is a superstar. PJ could be the SEC Player of the Year and Reid might be our best low post presence since Towns.

    Thus I’m starting Hagans, Green, Keldon, PJ, and Reid

  3. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    12:57 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    By seasons end there is no way EJ Montgomery comes off the bench. Best lineup of 5 best players for me would have to be:
    Hagans, Johnson, PJ, Reid and Montgomery.

    Quade is a veteran and will start the first half of the year alongside Hagans, but he is no Hagans and Johnson can shoot the 3 in the 2 spot as well.. I honestly think if PJ can add a consistent jumper, which he had in HS, he can be deadly. Early on with playing a smaller lineup, we will give up size down low and that could cause some early losses, but by seasons end, they will be ready. I like the fact that our second lineup could be a threat to kind of platoon some, considering the match up so Cal can save legs.
    Quade, Quickley, Herro, Baker and Richards.

    Small lineup but Herro and Baker in my opinion can handle taller opponents. Herro can play D.

    • ukcamel
      2:27 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

      I have a hard time imagining that we are only going to start one of the five scholarship guards. I just don’t see it. I think Montgomery comes off the bench unless he beats out P.J. or Reid if he comes. Even if he doesn’t, he could end up being the sub for Johnson and Washington and Reid and still play 25-30ish minutes per game.

      The real question is who of Green, Herro and Quickley is going to be odd-man-out, getting only spot minutes?

    • UKNUTZ
      2:33 pm June 3, 2018 Permalink

      I totally agree with that lineup. It would be a defensive power lineup. E.J. shot blocking, PJ and Reid Travis will be offensive and defensive rebound bullies. Hagans and Johnson are also defensive bullies, and offensive beasts. This would be my GROWN MAN “BULLY BALL” power lineup. Now my three point threat lineup would be totally different. Not saying one would be better than the other, it would just depend on how the game is being called and who we are going up against.
      I believe we have some great options this year to beat anyone in the country. GO CATS

  4. Mc12
    1:00 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    Tough to do this without seeing everyone play or seeing the chemistry certain players will develop. I mean, what if Montgomery is consistent from 18 feet and protects the rim does he pair better with PJ or will PJ develop from the mid-range and pair well with Reid? IDK. Whatever lol.

  5. runningunnin.454
    1:02 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    I saw the stipulation; but, to include Reid Travis’ picture here is a bit presumptuous. There’s a saying about counting chickens….
    Hope we’re not disappointed.

    • Ridge Runner
      1:13 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

      Yes, I find myself including him in my plans and thoughts too. Rather see this official, yup.

    • crazycatfan65
      2:30 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

      Hagans hasn’t reclassified either.

  6. Ridge Runner
    1:12 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    I like the 3 of PJ, REID, & JOHNSON with Hagans running point. I’m not sold on a consistent Green yet (defense) but we have many guards and I wouldn’t care who fills that slot.

  7. jahanc2uky
    1:24 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    Hagans, Johnson, Herro, Washington, Reid… Quade subs for Johnson & Hagans, Baker & Herro split mins, Montgomery & Richards provide depth at PF, C position. Quickley sees sparing minutes off bench as his inconsistent shot, littlw physicality and D will all prove to need work.

  8. Aar
    1:26 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    I went with Hagans, Herro, Johnson, Washington & Montgomery. Since the “formula” for defending UK has become packing it in, I think it’s important to start games with shooting and an inside-out game. Also, offenses must start fast while defenses establish deeper into games. Thus, Herro gets my start but it could be Baker or Green at the two depending upon who turns out to be the best shooter amongst them. With that starting lineup, I expect a defensive substitution at the two during the first timeout.

    Otherwise, I expect to see Quickly early (based upon his merit, nothing against Hagans). If we get Travis, I expect to see him early and get lots of minutes as well. With him, I like the front court depth. Without, we need substantial growth out of Richards in a “Sophomore slump” year.

    I’m really happy to see Cal get a “true” wing in Johnson. IMHO, if he lives up to the hype, the only limit on his minutes will be his endurance. I’m putting in my early vote for him to get the MKG patented “he touches the ball on every fast break” call from Cal. When he’s off the court, I like Washington to show us an improved jumper and an improved handle as he turns into an NBA-ready three. That, however, is predicated upon having two other productive bigs locking down the paint. I think we have that with Reid, Montgomery and a few minutes from Richards.

    So, my primary rotation is Hagans, Quickly, Green, Herro, Baker, Johnson, Washington, Reid and Montgomery. I know that’s a long rotation for Calipari but injuries and defense will shorten that rotation to 6 or 7 before the post-season.

    Expect to see Richards, Calipari & Payne a few minutes per game but not in regular rotation. I see Richards as being a very productive Junior (i.e. not this season) because he will continue to be the hardest working player on the team and he has a long development road in front of him.

    The other returning player I’m concerned about headed into the season is Green. At his size, he needs more speed and/or a bit more “bully” to his game. He’s got a great handle and basketball IQ and he’s tougher than most nails. Based on what I’ve seen, Quickley & Hagans are both quicker than Gilgeous-Alexander. To earn minutes in this talented frontcourt, I think Green needs more Briscoe-like or Ulis-like bully to go with his handle and shot. I hope he’s working on his speed in the offseason.

  9. CKTermy23
    1:28 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink


  10. Bob Ed Thom
    1:37 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    I just selected our proposed 2nd string in:
    Quickley, Baker, Herro, Montgomery and Richards

    That is a very scary line-up and potentially all 5 are back-ups.
    Two near 7 Footers, a top flight Point and two lights out shooters and you could win SOO MANY GAMES. I just hope all come in ready to compete and earn whatever minutes there are to be had. If they all do that (And all the DOGS are really DOGS)……..THIS will be a Great year.
    Can’t Wait for the Bahamas.

  11. lawdawg_bc
    1:50 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    That was tougher than expected. How come Quickley isn’t picked higher i wonder?

  12. BluesBrother
    2:55 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    Damn. We’re gonna be good.

  13. BluesBrother
    2:57 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink


    • BBNDan7
      3:16 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

      Let’s hope that 4 isn’t the last game and im all in lol

  14. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    3:26 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    Hagans, Green, Johnson, PJW, EJM…that is the five. Reid will come in knowing that Cal gets guys to the NBA and will be fine being a veteran leader off the bench. EJ HAS to start…no wayhe chooses UK over Duke because of Zion having time at PF just to come to UK and ride pine.

  15. JMFATZ47
    6:13 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    How sure is Hagans reclassification?

    6:40 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    Hagans/Herro/Johnson/Washington/Travis. Or replace Quickley for Herro in a blitzkreg lineup where we press and trap teams to death and on offense pound the ball to wear down teams and get them in foul trouble. Herro is being slept on and will be one of our best players like Shai last yr. And Quickley won the 3 pt contest and has D. Reid Travis is a walking 19 and 7…he’s not sitting on no bench. Hagans, Johnson and PJ are locks to start.

  17. herm89
    6:56 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    No chance Cal only starts two freshman, and as we learned last year, the starting lineup doesn’t really mean anything.

    I’m going Hagans – Herro – Johnson – P.J. – Montgomery

    Bring the veterans, Quade and Travis, off the bench then let the rest of them duke it out for minutes.

  18. wyatts1
    9:03 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    I’m going with;
    Hagan’s cause he is simply a best on both sides of the ball, green for his ability to run the point if needed, his shooting and his veteran leadership. Also Johnson is a no brainer as far as a kid who’s got ? and also plays with a high motor on both sides of the ball as well. Only spots that different from most is my bigs, cause I can’t go against a 5th year stud who’s a true veteran that’s averaged almost 20&10 last year, you can’t leave him off the floor, especially with Montgomery being our stretch 5 but who has proven he has all the offensive game of a pollished college kid and size to match. I think that’s our best chance at a championship considering the studs that’s coming off the bench. Quickly, Barker, heero, Washington and Richards would be my 2nd platoon if I was coaching. Just to much talent 1-9 not to do the platoon thing with our #10 being the only hole in Richards but who knows a true 7 footer is hard to come by and will be much improved after the summer around Kenny Payne and our coaches. Richards has the most potential to be the the biggest turn around player at UK in a long time if he starts learning some of these things coaches are helping him with.

    • wyatts1
      9:08 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

      Beast* and then “heart” instead of the “?” When describing Johnson. Sorry

  19. StuckinLville
    10:04 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    Green will be the starting pg. Cal had to of sold him on staying with all these pgs by telling him the ball would be in his hands.

  20. chris43
    10:42 pm June 1, 2018 Permalink

    I think Herro is going to shock some people with his shooting. It may take him a bit to get up to speed but once he does…watch out!

    • Aar
      7:08 am June 2, 2018 Permalink

      Cal is a Defense First coach. Herro gotta earn minutes.

  21. Aar
    7:15 am June 2, 2018 Permalink

    If Reid Travis chooses UK, I suspect his per game numbers will decline, per 40 minutes numbers will increase, he will not start and he will be in at the end of close games. The not starting pert is predicated on his veteran maturity and the youthful ego of his front court teammates. If he’s clearly the best, he might start.