EJ Montgomery didn’t score a point today, but according to John Calipari, he’s the reason Kentucky was able to come back and beat Florida. The freshman big man came in during the second half and infused the team with energy, pulling down rebounds, diving on the floor after balls, and blocking a shot.
“I’m so happy for EJ Montgomery,” Cal said. “It thought he was the difference in the game because we needed another big guy to do something, to go get balls, to come up off the floor, be active defensively. He guarded the ball.”
When Kentucky was down ten with 12:32 left, PJ Washington missed a free throw but EJ grabbed the rebound, which led to a bucket from Keldon Johnson and sparked a 9-0 run. Florida coach Mike White called that offensive rebound a game-changing play.
“The whole staff exhales when it happens. Those are big plays. Those are plays we stress a lot, we show on film. Winning plays for the team that executes them, and sometimes, deflating plays for the team it happens against. It was a big play.”
“EJ, when he came in, he made a big impact on the game,” Tyler Herro said. “He pretty much, besides PJ, EJ made the biggest change with our energy. He got a key offensive rebound off a free throw and it just went from there. He brought a lot of energy and did a great job.”