Photo courtesy of WKRC.
Sources have told KSI that Jarred Vanderbilt and PJ Washington will ultimately return to UK for a sophomore season. This is also backed up by Jason Marcum’s article:
Jarred Vanderbilt averaged 5.9 points and 7.9 rebounds in just 17 minutes per game in a injury-riddled freshman campaign in which he only appeared in 14 games.
P.J. Washington averaged 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in 2017-2018.
If Vanderbilt and Washington do in fact return, Kentucky is going to be absolutely dangerous next season. We have yet to see a fully healthy Jarred Vanderbilt, but even the injured version was impressive. He was the best rebounder per 40 minutes in college basketball. A consistent jumper is the only thing left for him to work on to be a complete player. Washington also started turning into a consistent post player at the end of last season. He really put it together in the last month of the regular season as well as the postseason. If he returns, he could easily be a 14&8 type of player.
Vanderbilt isn’t on any NBA teams’ radars at the moment, but he could possibly slip into the late 2nd round. Team’s aren’t high on an injury prone player with major shooting problems. Washington is viewed as small forward/power forward tweener at the professional level. The only problem with that is PJ isn’t a consistent shooting threat and lacks elite ballhandling skills. One of the two is usually required from a 3 or 4 man in the NBA.
If the sources are right, Kentucky is going to be absolutely stacked next season. They will return Vanderbilt, Richards and Washington in the post as well as adding EJ Montgomery. Wenyen Gabriel is the biggest question mark out of the group. We should know more about him in a week or two. Kentucky is also loaded at the guard positions with Quade Green and Jemarl Barker returning along with the additions of Immanuel Quickley, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson and presumably Ashton Hagans.
Dare we say….platoon?