The dust has settled following the NCAA draft withdrawal deadline, leaving a much clearer picture of what the 2018-19 Kentucky Wildcats will look like.
The best news of the day came from P.J. Washington: “I’m back.” Kentucky’s leading rebounder and most physical post-presence as a freshman, Washington has the potential to take enormous steps forward offensively as a sophomore. The Big Blue Nation is overjoyed to return an SEC Player of the Year candidate, but more importantly, fans are relieved to discover that P.J. is a man of his word. He said he would only declare for the draft if he was a first round pick. When he did not get that reassurance, he opted to return to Kentucky for one more year.
After Washington’s announcement, the other two Wildcats decided to remain in the NBA Draft, for a variety of reasons. Early in the day, it looked like Wenyen was a lock to return. Once Washington returned and Travis Reid news leaked, it turned the tide. Without the minutes available to dramatically improve his stock, it made sense for Wenyen to cash in now.
Vanderbilt’s decision took the longest to learn, and remained the most mysterious. Even though he released a video and a statement, the most insight we have on Vanderbilt’s decision comes from social media. He liked the following Tweet from KSR’s Aaron Torres minutes before he released a video on his own Twitter page, revealing a sad truth.
After the three forwards’ decisions, Kentucky’s roster is now (close) to completion.
|Kentucky 2018-19 Basketball Roster|
|Player||Position||Height/Weight||HS Ranking (National)|
|Quade Green||Point Guard||6’/175||#5 PG (26)|
|Tyler Herro||Shooting Guard||6-5/195||#6 SG (36)|
|Jemarl Baker||Shooting Guard||6-4/185||#15 SG (73)|
|Immanuel Quickley||Point Guard||6-3/175||#4 PG (20)|
|Ashton Hagans*||Point Guard||6-4/185||#1 PG (9 in ’19)|
|P.J. Washington||Power Forward||6-7/236||#7 PF (15)|
|Nick Richards||Center||7’/240||#2 C (18)|
|E.J. Montgomery||Power Forward||6-10/200||#2 PF (9)|
|Keldon Johnson||Small Forward||6-6/220||#3 SF (11)|
|Jonny David||Shooting Guard||6-2/185||N/A|
|Brad Calipari||Shooting Guard||6’/180||N/A|
* Ashton Hagans’ reclassification is not yet final.
Next year’s roster features six McDonald’s All-Americans, seven five-star prospects and Calipari is not done.
Reid Travis: The Last Domino
Even though Kentucky lost a pair of elite forwards, there’s still room to add a McDonald’s All-American double-double machine. The Stanford grad transfer was rumored to be a potential option for quite some time. Yesterday he made his decision to become a graduate transfer official, while insiders and analysts penciled in Kentucky as the overwhelming favorite. Don’t be surprised if he’s on UK’s campus soon.
Learn more about Travis here, before you check out the following highlights from a 29-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Congrats, Tony Neely!
The UK sports information director will be honored by CoSIDA for 25 years of service this year. The straw that stirs the Wildcats’ drink behind the scenes, if there is a nicer man in the world, I’d like to meet him. Congrats to Tony and thanks for all that you’ve done for UK and the fine folks covering the athletic institution.
An Entertaining Announcement
After Washington released his, “I’m Back,” video, UK Athletics released one for their photographer, Chet White.
— Brandon Carlisle (@BranCarlisle) May 30, 2018
The Finals Begin
Part Four of the Golden State, Cleveland Cavaliers Finals’ rivalry begins tonight at Oracle Arena. The Best Player vs. The Best Team should be compelling, but LeBron can only do so much. The Warriors looked human for moments in the Western Conference Finals, only to turn it on in the third quarter and run away with a victory. They’ll probably continue to do the same, but you have to turn on ABC tonight at 9:00 to see exactly how it all goes down.
The KSR Tour Begins
We are firing up the blue lights across the Bluegrass today in Louisville at Academy Sports and Outdoors on Outer Loop. Don’t miss your first chance to see the gang and enter for a chance to win a trip to watch the Wildcats in the Bahamas.