Quade Green notified several folks inside the program yesterday that he was intending to transfer, but would sleep on that decision. I don’t have an update on Green’s final decision, but the fact there have been several different reports that he is intending on transferring (including the breaker of the news, Matt Jones) I’m guessing that he didn’t have a change of heart although as of 12:30 on Wednesday nothing has been made official or set in stone.
The idea of leaving Kentucky wasn’t new for Green. He strongly considered leaving after his freshman season where he played nearly 26 minutes per game and averaged 9.3 points, 2.7 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game. His numbers are similar this season despite playing only 17.8 minutes per game (eight points, 2.3 assists and 1.8 rebounds) but he’s improved his three-point percentage from 37.6 percent to 42.3 percent. Only Tyler Herro has hit more threes this season (12) but has taken 18 more attempts.
Green decided to stay for a sophomore season but over the weekend when playing so close to home and only getting 10 minutes of run in a 45 minute game, people close to Green suggested it may be time to transfer because he could be eligible at another college starting in January of 2020. If he stays at UK and decides to leave after the season he wouldn’t be eligible to play college basketball until the 2020-2021 season.
I can understand the frustration from Green. His numbers are similar to last season despite having nearly 10 minutes of playing time taken away. No UK guard is stepping up and seizing the position, but Green isn’t getting the same opportunities as the other players, at least not in games. Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans and Tyler Herro are all averaging more minutes per game despite worse shooting numbers. It’s safe to say all three players are better defenders than Green, but only Hagans has more assists and Herro with more steals.
Maybe Green and UK will work it out. There’s still time, but Green did notify people at Kentucky that he intends to transfer and that will be his plan unless he has a change of heart. Ultimately I don’t think Green wants to leave, but knows that this will likely be his last season at UK because all the guards playing more than him this year should be back for the 2019-2020 season and the Cats are bringing in Tyrese Maxey. So, does he stick it out and finish what he started while forcing him to sit out all of next season, or does he miss the second half of the season to play in the second half next year? Of course there’s a chance that Green stays and stays at UK for a junior season, but that seems like the least likely scenario.