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Sacha Killeya-Jones to be Granted Full Release

Sacha Killeya-Jones (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s basketball forward Sacha Killeya-Jones will transfer from UK, head coach John Calipari announced Monday.

Killeya-Jones will be granted a full release with no restrictions.

“The past two years at Kentucky have been an amazing journey and I want to thank all of my coaches, teammates and fans who made it possible,” Killeya-Jones said. “After much deliberation with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to ask for my release and explore other opportunities at this time. Thank you for your support through this process.”

Killeya-Jones, a five-star recruit from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, came to Kentucky as a heralded McDonald’s All-American and was a part of two Southeastern Conference Tournament championships and one regular-season crown.

“It’s never easy for me seeing a player go, especially when it’s someone you’ve seen grow as much as Sacha has and someone you want to continue to coach,” Calipari said. “I truly believe Sacha was just starting to find out who he is and that his best days are ahead of him. I still believe that whether he’s here or someone else.

“With that said, when a kid comes to me and believes what’s best for him is somewhere else, they always have my full support. We want what’s best for these kids and will always do whatever we can to make sure they can pursue their dreams. Our staff wishes Sacha nothing but the best.”

Killeya-Jones enjoyed an improved sophomore season, charting career highs in every statistical category, including minutes, points, free throws, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. For his career he averaged, 3.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game while shooting at a 58.5-percent clip. He appeared in 49 total games during his career. He poured in a career-high 12 points vs. UT Martin during his freshman campaign and hauled in a career-high nine rebounds in UK’s Champions Classic matchup with Kansas in the third game of the 2017-18 season.

The 6-foot-10 forward enjoyed a memorable performance at the 2018 SEC Tournament where he posted 16 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks over the three games. His put-back jam off of a Wenyen Gabriel missed 3-pointer in the final minute of the championship game coupled with a block on the other end sparked the Cats to their fourth straight tournament crown.

 

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  1. Damn, I hate to see him go, but I wish him all the best.

  2. I was hoping he would stay and give us some veteran leadership and depth in the front court. We just never can keep players. Either transfer or go pro too early. Sure glad to see Montgomery is coming, but still need some upperclassmen.

  3. Jones is making the right move. He will find a team that gives him more playing time and deservedly so. This happens when a guy gets recruited over, but Cal could not say no to Montgomery.

  4. I think I almost always feel more sad about players transferring than those who are moving on to the League. I’ve enjoyed watching Sasha grow as a player these past two years, and will miss him. Best of luck to the young man in whatever the future holds for him.

  5. I think I predicted at the end of the season that SKJ would leave the program. I wish that had not come true. I would really have liked to see him continue to grow at UK, but that is not going to happen. I always thought Derick Willis should have transferred to somewhere like Vandy or Butler where they would really use the skills he brings to the table. I feel the same with SKJ. He will never get the time at UK to develop and become the complete player I think he can be. I think this is best for him and wish him the very best. I hope to see his name called for the NBA in a few years.

  6. Think this r somewhat predictable. He didn’t get the PT he probably deserved, especially with dismal performance of Richards, but he also didn’t do that well when he did get in. It would be nice to see a few juniors growing and performing in the system, but guess that not in this system. Good Luck SKJ and hope you make the best of future opportunities.

  7. Everyone is correct. If you read all the post they all make since. Cal rotating door of talent. More opportunity somewhere else. Not enough PT. Wishing him the best. All correct. But here is a thought.

    Don’t they know this when they arrive. They all say they want to play with top talent but then some leave because of it. I just remember a few names that took a different path. Ritchie Farmer was told he was to fat to play by RP but ended up with a great career. Or Anthony Epps who if I remember right said that he was going to UK and at 1st RP said he should stick to FB (he was one of the top WR in the state) but he got there and made his mark.

    My point is what happened to “I’m not letting this new guy take my job” ? What happened to gym rats that forced the coach to see him and play him. This program has a history full of them. This generation wants it but few have the grit to tough it out and take what they want. It’s why it is hard to win Championships with all freshmen because only a rare few have the ability to play hard every play and refuse to lose for 6 games in a row.

    I wish you the best SKJ I truly understand your position. I hope to see you in the NBA one day. God Speed! !

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