By LARRY VAUGHT
If you are hoping that Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards or EJ Montgomery might return to Kentucky for another season, don’t be counting on it based on how Kentucky coach John Calipari sounded during a Facebook Live chat he had Monday.
“We’re going to be Kentucky. We’ll be fine. We’ll go, ‘Let’s go. Who do we have?’ And then we’ll figure out how we’re going to play and how we’re going to win,” Calipari said.
Whoever he has back — and we know it will be at least Keion Brooks Jr. and Dontaie Allen — UK will also be adding the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class and probably one or two graduate transfers.
Montgomery seemed intent on going to the NBA before returning to UK last season and did not have the dominant season he hoped. He’s included in only a few mock drafts but if his heart truly is set on a pro career, he probably will be better off staying in the draft as many think he will.
Quickley might be able to improve even more if he comes back but he was SEC Player of the Year and it’s hard to imagine his draft stock getting a lot better than what it is now.
Same with Richards. He made dramatic improvement and he’s been at UK three years already. It’s hard to see him deciding to return unless he’s worried there might not be a UK season.
Still, Calipari is made for this. He encourages players to do what is best for them, not UK. Not every Kentucky fan likes that, but players do and that’s why top players like those coming next year keep wanting to play for him.