By LARRY VAUGHT
Former Kentucky All-American Kenny Walker certainly understands what it takes to succeed in the NBA and based on potential, he thinks Kentucky sophomore EJ Montgomery could find success. However, he has worries about Montgomery opting to keep his name in the draft.
“His overall body of work is not overly impressive. He might have needed a page out of Nick Richards’ book. Have a good summer, get in shape, get healthy and come back (to UK) with a renewed attitude,” Walker said.
“But a lot of NBA teams draft on potential. Some teams apparently loved him last year. If they fell in love last year, he will probably get some looks and somebody will probably take a chance (and draft him). But EJ is the one play I hoped would stay another year (at UK).”
With the departure of P.J. Washington and Reid Travis off the 2018-19 team, Walker thought Montgomery would be the player to step into the spotlight last season. It never happened.
“I really thought he would be the leading scorer on the team,” Walker said. “I thought with the ability he had he would be the man for the Cats. I think getting hurt (ankle) early set him back. I thought he would be the team’s X-factor. If he had played to his potential, UK could have been great.
“I really thought if he was playing to the maximum of his ability he would put up 25 to 30 points a game along with 11 to 13 rebounds. But at times he missed shots and then would get reluctant to shoot. When he ran the court and played hard to his max, he could put up big numbers and that’s what he’ll have to do in the NBA.”