EJ Montgomery completes Kentucky starters' exit for NBA draft

Montgomery adjusts midair for acrobatic and-1 (0:32)

Kentucky's EJ Montgomery gets fouled while in the air and contorts to flip the ball in for the nifty and-1 finish. (0:32)

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky forward EJ Montgomery will enter the NBA draft and forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility, completing an exodus of Wildcats starters for the pro ranks.

The 6-foot-10 sophomore averaged career highs of 6.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game with 31 blocks last season. Montgomery ranked second on the team in the latter two categories and started 25 of 28 games. His late tip-in lifted Kentucky past Florida 71-70 in the regular-season finale before the postseason was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fort Pierce, Florida, native returned to school last season after going through the NBA draft evaluation process. He thanked Kentucky coach John Calipari and his staff for challenging him to "become a better all-around player" following a freshman season in which Montgomery averaged 3.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Calipari praised Montgomery's progress in a release Wednesday and said with his perimeter skills, athleticism and shot-blocking ability, "someone is going to get a big-time prospect with EJ."

Montgomery follows pro announcements by fellow forward Nick Richards and guards Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey.