“What an incredible honor it has been to play for not only one of the best schools in the country, but also the best fans,” Montgomery said in a press release. “When I decided to come to Kentucky, it was a dream of mine to win a national championship. I know my brothers and I were ready to go to war for our coaches, the university and Big Blue Nation to bring home the national title this year. The circumstances were unfortunate, but I am thankful that I was able to play for a great coach and coaching staff and compete every day in practice and in games to challenge myself to become a better all-around player.”
Montgomery added, “I have decided to take the next step in my career and chase after my ultimate dream and declare for the NBA Draft.”
“At 6-10 with perimeter skills, athleticism and an ability to block shots, someone is going to get a big-time prospect with EJ,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “His skill set is where the game is going. EJ has always had those tools, but what I’m so proud of is how he progressed, not only through his two seasons here but especially the last month of the season.”
After coming off the bench as a freshman, Montgomery played in 28 games for the Wildcats during his sophomore season and made 25 starts.
He averaged a career-high 6.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game with 31 total blocks, 12 steals and 17 assists. Montgomery posted four games with three or more blocks and scored a career-high 25 points in a win against Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 7.
With Montgomery declared, the Cats have officially lost their entire starting five from a year ago.
Nick Richards and Immanuel Quickley declared earlier this week, while Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans announced their intentions last week. That leaves Keion Brooks as the only returner from last seasons’ rotation.