EJ Montgomery leaves Kentucky for 2020 NBA draft

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Kentucky’s roster will look completely different next season.

EJ Montgomery became the latest Wildcat to turn pro on Wednesday. Kentucky announced the sophomore forward’s decision to leave school. The 6-foot-10 Montgomery is planning to stay a pro, according to multiple reports. All five Kentucky starters are turning pro this season.

Montgomery played a bigger role for the Wildcats his second season. His minutes jumped from 15.1 to a respectable 24.1 per game. The forward put up 6.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per contest in 28 games. Montgomery shot 51 percent from the floor and 66 percent from the free-throw line. Nick Richards was Kentucky’s established go-to big man. But Montgomery played a valuable frontcourt role for the SEC champions.

It’s unlikely EJ Montgomery finds himself in the first round. But by turning pro and staying in the draft, Montgomery is betting on his pro future.

With the pro decision from Montgomery, Kentucky’s roster is virtually all new players. Forward Keion Brooks returns for his sophomore season. Creighton grad transfer Davion Mintz is joining the program. But John Calipari’s roster will rely on six new freshmen.

Kentucky’s roster has been led by freshmen plenty of times before. Calipari is accustomed to getting rosters full of new players to mesh. But with only Brooks returning from the rotation, it will feel like an entirely new culture at the start of the season. Every player on the roster will be unfamiliar with each other.

It should make for an interesting experiment for a very talented team. Kentucky sits at No. 10 in the CBT Preseason Top 25 at the moment. The talent on the wings for the Wildcats will be evident with Terrence Clarke and Brandon Boston. With the loss of EJ Montgomery, the frontcourt will have more questions next season.