By LARRY VAUGHT
Nothing EJ Montgomery has faced during his freshman season at Kentucky has really surprised him.
“That’s what I signed up for. I came here to get better and that’s one way I can get better is competing every day and not slacking off,” Montgomery said. “Competing with those big guys, trying to get playing time on the floor.”
Montgomery has averaged 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during UK’s first 12 games while shooting 48 percent from the field. He leads Kentucky with 14 blocked shots.
“Just trying to compete on every play. Trying to get better on defense every day and just going out there and being a teammate and getting wins,” Montgomery said.
Kentucky could use more offense from him since sophomore Nick Richards has not performed the way most, including coach John Calipari, expected.
He says he’s comfortable on offense trying to post up and hit mid-range shots along with pulling off offensive rebounds. He’s averaging one offensive rebound for every nine minutes he plays.
He knows what Calipari wants from him going forward.
“Definitely effort and defense. That’s what all the big guys, he’s emphasizing that’s what we have to do to get more playing time,” Montgomery said.
“It’s a whole different game. I learned the basics in high school, but college is a whole different level. We’ve just got to learn and keep going.”