On Friday we heard from Davion Mintz who said he will wait until after the season to make any decisions regarding his basketball future.
Oliver Sarr didn’t expand on his plans beyond this upcoming March, either. “My mind is on the end of the season and trying to be the best version of myself every night, every game,” Sarr replied when asked if he is considering another year in Lexington.
There is one other senior on the team, walk-on Riley Welch, and he too faced questions about a potential return to Kentucky for another season. Welch isn’t planning on coming back for more, but if Calipari asked him to return, he’d at least consider one more run.
“To be honest, I don’t think I’m coming back as a player next year,” the second-year Wildcat, a transfer from College of the Desert, said Friday afternoon. “It’s not a conversation Coach Calipari and I have had. I’m older, so if Coach Calipari asked me to come back and return in the position, I, mean, it would be hard to say no.
“But I’m super grateful for everything he’s done for me, super grateful to the fans, the university, the state of Kentucky. It’s been a dream experience these last two years. I love it here, so If I have the opportunity to and that was something Cal wanted, it would be hard to pass up. But if not, I’m ready for whatever lies ahead.”
The son of a successful basketball coach, Welch’s plan has always been to get into coaching once his playing career concludes. Being at Kentucky with John Calipari will only help him in his coaching journey.
“It’ll be huge for me starting my coaching career,” he said. “Getting to see Coach Cal up close and in person every day and how he handles teams, how he handles individuals, how he deals with his staff, and then also I’ve been fortunate to play for an unbelievable set of coaching staffs in the two years that I’ve been here.”
Welch has one more game in Rupp Arena, and if tradition holds up, Calipari will place him in the starting lineup for Senior Day. However, Welch wasn’t sure of his spot in the starting rotation on Friday afternoon.
“I haven’t asked him. He hasn’t mentioned anything, so I just kind of do whatever is asked of me. I just approach Senior Night like any other game. I’m going to try and prepare the guys the best I can and get out there and try and get another win.”
Start Welch, then get the win.