ROUNDTABLE: Who returns for Kentucky next year?
We've already addressed the speculation about Immanuel Quickley's decision.
Here we touch on that again but in a broader way.
Today's question ... Who will return for UK basketball during the 2020-21 season?
Travis Graf: I think that Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans and Nick Richards are going to enter the draft. I believe that EJ Montgomery and Immanuel Quickley will put out feelers, with the highest odds of only one coming back. As of today, Montgomery is closer to coming back than Immanuel Quickley, but Quickley could decide to come back and show what he can do as a primary ball handler, something scouts want to see more of. Montgomery isn’t on any team’s radar as of now.
Jeff Drummond: I have a strong hunch we'll see Immanuel Quickley back with the Cats. That may surprise some, but he's just a different kind of kid. I don't think he's in a hurry to get out of college. His family values education and has deep religious faith. Basketball isn't the be-all, end-all for them. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if John Calipari said, "Look, you've been great for us, but you need to leave while the iron is hot, so to speak." Remember, Tyler Ulis wasn't exactly "ready" for the NBA, but Cal advised him that it was the best time to enter. I suppose some of it will depend on what the other guards in this draft class look like. I think we'll also see Keion Brooks and E.J. Montgomery come back, the latter trying to follow Nick Richards' example in what can be done if you're patient. I would love to see the NCAA work something out to where Nate Sestina (and other players across the country who did not get to complete their final year of eligibility) can return if they choose to do so. My hunch is that Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans leave, and that Johnny Juzang may explore transfer options. I hope I'm wrong on that last one. I'd love to see him back for a second year.
David Sisk: I believe that Tyrese Maxey, Nick Richards, Ashton Hagans, and Immanuel Quickley all will leave and everyone else will be back. The wild card to me is E.J. Montgomery. Yes he could go either way, but I don't see him on any draft boards. I am hoping he sees the model that Nick Richards provided of coming back for a third year and working his way into the NBA Draft.
Justin Rowland: Originally I would have said that Maxey, Richards, Hagans, Montgomery, and Quickley are all likely to be gone with Keion Brooks and Johnny Juzang as the main returning players to complement what Kentucky has coming in. But the more time has passed, it seems increasingly likely that Immanuel Quickley could either be really on the fence or perhaps even leaning towards a return. If Quickley were to return then Kentucky would obviously be one of two or three favorites nationally.