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ison last season while shooting 38 percent
<!--StartFragment-->With the reclassification and commitment of 5 star center N Faly Dante
to Oregon Tuesday, that officially brought the 2019 recruiting cycle to a
close for Kentucky, meaning the Wildcats roster is now complete for the
2019 20 season.
<br>In all, John Calipari issued 21 scholarship offers, landed six
commitments and finished with the nation s No. 2 recruiting class
according to the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings and head into this
<br>It was an odd recruiting cycle for Kentucky in the frontcourt as
James Wiseman Memphis , Isaiah Stewart Washington , Vernon Carey Duke ,
Jaden McDaniels Washington , Matthew Hurt Duke , Oscar Tshiebwe West
Virginia , Zeke Nnaji Arizona , Virginia Tech grad transfer Kerry
Blackshear Florida and Dante Oregon all said thanks, but no thanks to
the Wildcats in 2019.
<br>That leaves UK with junior center Nick Richards, sophomore forward
EJ Montgomery and Bucknell grad transfer Nate Sestina in the frontcourt.
<br>Some are expecting a PJ Washington esque leap from Montgomery <a href="">Jonny David Jersey</a>,
who as the top ranked power forward in the 2018 class, averaged 3.8
points and 4.1 rebounds per game while starting nine of the last 11
games as a freshman last season.
<br>Calipari issued an open challenge to Montgomery this offseason.
<br> Are you ready to be that guy PJ was a year ago? Calipari said. Your
talent level tells me you should say, I m going to be better than him. I
m going to have more of an impact because I m going to block shots. But
they have to want that and take that so we ll see.
<br>Sestina, meanwhile, who averaged 15.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.1
blocks per game for the Bison last season while shooting 38 percent from
three point range in being named Second Team All Patriot League, is
expected to fill the Reid Travis role, providing some much needed
experience and physicality down low. Sestina recorded 27 double digit
scoring games, 11 double doubles and 10 games of 20 or more points for
Bucknell last season.
<br> After seeing what Reid s move did for him this past season and how
he helped our program, I told our staff if there are other kids in his
situation that could benefit <a href=""></a>, let s take a look at them <a href=""></a>,
Calipari said. Nate falls into that scenario. I m excited to get to
work with him because he s where the game is going. He has the ability
to play in the post but he can stretch you out, which gives us the
ability to play a little different and open things up more.
<br>But after missing on Dante, all eyes will be on Richards, who
becomes just the third McDonald s All American to see a junior season
under Calipari in Lexington.
<br>Over the last two seasons, anything Richards provided was viewed as a
bonus, averaging 4.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over 74 career
games. Now, for the first time in his collegiate career <a href=""></a>, Richards will be counted on for production and will be forced to play extended minutes.
<br> The issue isn t what he can t do, the issue is when does he do it?
UK associate head coach Kenny Payne said last season. There s nothing he
can t do. How can we put all that together? How do we make one complete
package and that s who we are every single day? That s the challenge.
<br>The play of Richards could make or break whether Kentucky develops
into a legitimate national championship contender, but the Wildcats
strength is in the backcourt with reigning SEC Co Defensive Player of
the Year and returning point guard Ashton Hagans, McDonald s All
American and 5 star freshman Tyrese Maxey and sophomore combo guard
Immanuel Quickley.
<br>Calipari also signed perhaps his best class of wings at Kentucky in 5
stars Kahlil Whitney and Keion Brooks, and 4 stars Johnny Juzang and
Kentucky Mr. Basketball Dontaie Allen. With only three bigs on the
roster, both Whitney and Brooks have the size and length to slide over
and play the four spot, which will allow the Wildcats to employ a small
ball lineup that could be extremely dynamic both offensively and
<br>Either way, with Kentucky s 2019 20 roster now complete, the
Wildcats enter the season as a consensus top 5 team nationally and once
again in the hunt for a national title.<br><!--EndFragment-->


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