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EJ Montgomery made “strides” that Kentucky needs

EJ Montgomery’s presence can make UK a different team. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

EJ Montgomery doesn’t have to be an All-American — or even a second team all-Southeastern Conference pick like he was in the preseason poll.

The sophomore just has to be the EJ Montgomery that played at Vanderbilt Tuesday night and seems to be getting that figured out.

He took only three shots in the 78-64 win over Vanderbilt but finished with six points because he went 4-for-4 at the foul line, pulled off nine rebounds — including four on the offensive end — and blocked three shots in 29 minutes. He also had just one turnover and several times he went on the floor trying to secure loose balls, something he’s rarely done this year.

“I thought EJ made some strides,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

He wasn’t Saturday at Tennessee when he had two points and three rebounds. But the game before against Mississippi State he had 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals. He had nine points and four rebounds a few weeks ago in a win over Vanderbilt in Lexington.

Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse explained Monday what Montgomery can do and why he’s important for Kentucky.

“Montgomery, I think he’s a great role player for them and can do a lot of different things,” Stackhouse said. “He can switch out on smaller players. He’s a guy that with confidence, he can make plays around the basket, can pop out a little bit too. So I think guys like that are the X-factor.”

X-factor? I don’t know about that but I know the EJ Montgomery who played at Vanderbilt is the EJ Montgomery that could be a huge, huge difference maker for Kentucky in March.

 

 

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  1. EJ didn’t score much, but he got some very tough, had to have rebounds that he normally doesn’t get. He made all of his FTs and only had 1 TO. Not sure what made the difference, just hopes he keeps coming with that kind of fight and focus.

  2. EJ is looking a lot more comfortable and that can end up really paying off in March.
    If EJ, Brooks, and Sestina can consistently combine for 20-25 points, 10-15 rebounds, and 3 or less turnovers, that would end up being great.

  3. He is starting to bring it on a more consistent basis….Go EJ!

  4. Watch the telecast if you still have it. E J is either the slowest player on UK or he isn’t in as good shape as the other UK players.

  5. Thin31, I don’t know what game you watch, I thought EJ was getting after it last night he went after the loose balls and rebounded will well. Cal just recently said he’s in better shape than he ever been since arriving at UK. He may need more conditioning but he’s coming around.

  6. EJ is playing better, but UK needs more scoring from all three of our 4’s.

    1. That would be nice, but not sure it can happen. Coach’s offense is designed to take about 55 shots a game. By the time the guards take their 35 shots and Nick gets his 8, that leaves around 12 shots for EJ, Nate, and Keion. Its hard to get any kind of groove going when you only take 3 to 5 shots. If Coach would design plays that looked for shots in the first 15 seconds vs. the last 15 seconds, that could change.

      1. My point is they are missing shots they need to make.

  7. Exactly.

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