As usual, the Kentucky Wildcats will enter next season as championship contenders. However, the real difference in their roster is the surprisingly large amount of veterans on the team.
Kentucky normally deals with a good amount of turnover to its roster. Next season will be different because EJ Montgomery, Ashton Hagans, Nick Richards and Immanuel Quickley are returning for another year of college hoops.
Montgomery and Hagans were the marquee names to announce that they’ll put their NBA aspirations on hold. Both players were five-star recruits coming out of high school.
While the Wildcats should see improvement from all four returning players, head coach John Calipari is expecting a “breakout year” from Quickley.
Despite only averaging 5.2 points per game in his freshman season, Quickley is taking positive strides this offseason.
“He played well, shot the ball well. He’s gotten better. Again, I expect him to have a breakout year,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “He did some really good stuff last year. He’s one of the great teammates, terrific. Got so much better defensively, like so much better defensively. And he’s getting a better feel for this.”
Quickley has to take a bigger role next season for the Wildcats. He could fill the void left behind from NBA Draft prospects Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson.
Calipari feels pretty confident about Quickley’s progression, which means Kentucky fans should expect a strong campaign from the rising sophomore.