LEXINGTON, Ky. – Highly coveted forward EJ Montgomery has officially joined the Kentucky men’s basketball team after signing a national letter of intent with the university.
Montgomery, who committed to the Wildcats last month, will join top-rated prospects Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson and Immanuel Quickley in the class of 2018 and suit up for UK for the 2018-19 season. The class, which was already highly regarded, is once again shaping up to be one of the best in the country.
All four players are consensus four- or five-star prospects and all are ranked in the top 50 by the major national recruiting services with still the possibility of adding more. UK cannot comment on prospective student-athletes until they’ve signed official paperwork with the university.
“I hope our fans understand just how good EJ is and how excited we are to have him,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “You’re talking about a skilled big man who can affect the game in a number of ways. EJ is the type of position-less player the game is moving towards. He can play just about anywhere and make plays on the perimeter with his skills and versatility, yet he’s got the length and the ability to finish in the post as well as anyone in this class. What I love about him is he models his game after Anthony Davis, one of the best we’ve ever had, but wants to be his own player and carve out his legacy.”
Montgomery is expected to be an immediate-impact player next season.
A 6-foot-11 forward out of Marietta, Georgia, Montgomery has everything coaches covet in a big man: length, athleticism, versatility and guard-like skills. The left-hander possesses a soft touch with an inside-outside game that should blend well with Calipari’s position-less approach.
“My goal for picking a school was to find a program that could push me as a player to reach my dream and as a person to grow; a school that made sure me and my family’s dreams became their dreams and that would push me to be my best. I’ve found that with Coach Cal and the University of Kentucky,” Montgomery said. “I’m proud to be a part of the Big Blue Nation where the standard is excellence, which is what my mother and father have instilled in me.”
Montgomery can score with the best of the big men in his class after averaging 25.6 points for Wheeler High School this past season. He also grabbed 13.6 rebounds per game in addition to 4.3 assists. Montgomery impressed in the McDonald’s All American Game during the spring all-star circuit, posting 12 points and five rebounds against some of the nation’s top high-school talent.
Considered a consensus five-star recruit, Montgomery is ranked as high as No. 6 in the 247Sports rankings. He’s also listed as the No. 1 power forward in the class of 2018 by 247Sports. Rivals ranks him No. 10 overall and ESPN lists him at No. 14.
Montgomery has prior USA Basketball experience, having participated in multiple junior national team minicamps during his prep career.
With Montgomery’s addition, Kentucky has signed 48 top-50 recruits, 41 top-25 players and 23 top-10 players (according to Rivals) in Calipari’s 10 recruiting classes at Kentucky.
In every season in the John Calipari era, the Wildcats have signed a top-three recruiting class according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, which tallies major recruiting rankings and plugs them into a formula to calculate a consensus ranking.