By JESSICA JONES, Contributing Writer
In the midst of this crazy season, I wanted to take a minute to talk about one of my favorite players: Sacha Killeya-Jones. I have truly enjoyed watching Sacha grow as a player and I can’t wait to see how much he improves over the next two seasons as well.
If you remember last year, he did some amazing body transformations as highlighted by SEC Country. Calipari also challenged Sacha on his ability to fight through tendonitis last season.
I think Sacha has grown so much since we saw him early last season to now and will only continue to get better and better. We are seeing that now. When Sacha enters the game I immediately start rooting for him to do well. I do for all the kids but him especially.
He has become a really important piece to this Kentucky team but I think he will be even more important in the next two seasons as we have only scratched the surface of what Sacha can be. I look at Sacha as a guy on a similar track as Willie Cauley-Stein or Alex Poythress.
Like Alex, Sacha was a McDonald’s All-American. I think people then get disappointed when a burger boy doesn’t come in and dominate and some maybe even write them off. Not me. I really appreciate players like this. At Kentucky we need All Americans who are willing to come in, put in the work, and become a key piece of the team.
I do enjoy the dominant players that come in and do their thing and move on to the NBA like Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, DeAaron Fox, Malik Monk, Jamal Murray, the list goes on. I think Kentucky needs those guys and has to get them every year.
I also think that Kentucky needs an SKJ type of kid who is here to stick it out, to get better, and to transform before our eyes. SKJ is a really excellent kid. He’s hardworking. Just this season I have seen him grow. He’s making those little plays that make huge differences. He’s rebounding. He’s getting better at shot blocking.
I hope fans can continue to be patient and watch this kid develop. I really hope SKJ continues to grow in his game and expand his role at Kentucky. I think he will be a vital piece in the seasons going forward. This season I think he will continue to make a difference and assert himself on the boards. That’s something we need, especially this year.
In the next two seasons, barring an early departure from UK, I think Sacha can become a huge factor on young Kentucky teams. Next year it appears we will return quite a few players but one of the most important players coming back will be Sacha. I’d hope to have all these guys back and I think we will have several back but I really want to see Sacha to continue to develop.
He’ll be a junior next year. He’ll be a guy that can help lead the Cats by example with effort and hard work. I’m not sure what it is about SKJ exactly, but I’m really rooting for this kid. I’m hoping we get to see him suit up at Kentucky for two more seasons. I think fans will be really pleased with him as he continues to develop.
He’s had some good games this season, like his 8-point, 9-rebound, 3-block effort against Kansas and I look forward to see him posting similar stats in the future. LET’S GO SACHA! We’re rooting for you kid.