Killeya-Jones transferring from UK


Kentucky sophomore forward Sacha Killeya-Jones smiles during media interviews in the locker room after the game against Tennessee in the SEC tournament championship on Sunday, March 11, 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri. Kentucky defeated Tennessee 77-72. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Kernel Sports Staff

After finishing the 2017-2018 on a high-note, sophomore forward Sacha Killeya-Jones announced on twitter that he has asked for his release from UK and plans to transfer.

The news comes just hours after five-star forward EJ Montgomery announced his commitment to UK. Even with Montgomery’s commitment, Killeya-Jones still figured to have a role next season after his strong finish to the season.

Killeya-Jones played 50 minutes in February, but played 96 minutes during the postseason for UK and was very impactful for the Cats. Killeya-Jones made multiple efforts and defensive plays that were key in UK’s run in the postseason.

“It’s never easy for me seeing a player go, especially when it’s someone you’ve seen grow as much as Sacha has and someone you want to continue to coach,” John Calipari said in a press release. “I truly believe Sacha was just starting to find out who he is and that his best days are ahead of him. I still believe that whether he’s here or someone else.

On the year, Killeya-Jones averaged 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Killeya-Jones’ career averages are similar, which is likely a reason why Killeya-Jones is transferring.

Killeya-Jones is a former five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American, but struggled to really cement his role until the final five games of the 2017-2018 season.

Despite Killeya-Jones departure, UK still projects to have depth in the frontcourt for next season. Wenyen Gabriel, Jarred Vanderbilt and Nick Richards will likely return, and they’ll be joined by Montgomery and possibly PJ Washington if he withdraws his name from the NBA Draft before the deadline. 

** UPDATE **

In a press release sent out after Killeya-Jones’ announcement, UK said that Killeya-Jones will be giving a full release and has no restrictions on his transfer.

“When a kid comes to me and believes what’s best for him is somewhere else, they always have my full support,” Calipari said in the press release. “We want what’s best for these kids and will always do whatever we can to make sure they can pursue their dreams. Our staff wishes Sacha nothing but the best.”