ATLANTA — With the end of every Kentucky basketball season comes the question: Who will stay and who will go?
Kentucky fell to Kansas State 61-58 Thursday night in the Sweet 16. SEC Country collected the responses of Kentucky’s scholarship players on their future plans.
Kevin Knox (Fr.)
On decision: “Right now I’m just gonna focus on this loss, focus on the season, spend some time with some of my teammates. I’m just gonna focus on school right now, keep getting good grades like I am right now. Just gonna focus on those two things, and when my time comes, I’ll sit down with my parents and decide on my future.”
On team’s potential next season: “It’d be crazy if a lot of us came back. With the recruits we’ve got coming in, and with what we went through this year, next year we’d be really dangerous. A lot of guys can come back, a lot of guys can leave. I’m pretty sure next year, it’s gonna be crazy. We’ve learned so much this year that we could help the freshmen coming in. It’s gonna be a great season next year regardless of who comes in and who doesn’t. Really looking forward to it.”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Fr.)
On decision: “Not at all,” he said when asked if he’s thought about a decision to leave. “Every game and every day I just try to get better and focus on this team and what we need to do for the rest of the season. The season is over and this experience has been a blessing.”
PJ Washington (Fr.)
On decision: “I have no clue right now, I mean we just lost, so I’m not thinking about none of that right now.”
On team’s potential next season: “I have no clue right now. I feel like we have a great group of guys here. They love to win, and they love to fight for each other. I feel like if a lot of guys come back next year it’ll be the same. We’ll just continue to do what we do here at Kentucky.”
Hamidou Diallo (R-Fr.)
On decision: “I’m not worried about nothing like that right now. I mean I just lost a game. I just ended my season on a terrible note. I don’t wanna worry about nothing like that. I have plenty of time to worry about anything like that. Right now I’m just trying to soak this thing in and trying to be with these guys as much as possible.”
Sacha Killeya-Jones (Soph.)
On decision: “Nobody’s thinking about that right now. We just lost the last game of the year. We all wanted to do more with this and we’re just worried about everybody else. We’re all brothers, family. We’re trying to reflect on what just happened and the great year we had.”
On team’s potential next season: “Honestly I can’t even tell you. I haven’t even given any thought to next year. All of my energy, all of my focus was on the game tonight. All I’m thinking about is what I could’ve done more, and there’s a lot more I could’ve done to help this team.”
Wenyen Gabriel (Soph.)
On decision: “I’m not sure about that. I’m not sure to talk about that right now. I’m just focused on this game right now. I’m just gonna take this loss with my brothers.”
On team’s potential next season: “I just know there’s a lot of heart that we learned throughout the year that we didn’t start in the beginning of the year. Anyone who was on the roster this year that’s been through the fight, learned what we learned this year, could contribute wherever you are next year.
Jarred Vanderbilt (Fr.)
On decision: “Right now I haven’t put any thought into it. I’m focused on Kentucky basketball, right here supporting my guys.”
Quade Green (Fr.)
On decision: “We’re not worried about that. We’re worried about this year, finishing school out, that’s it.”
On team’s potential next season: “I don’t know. I think we would be good … just gotta see.”
Nick Richards (Fr.)
On decision: “We just had a tough loss. My mind’s not even thinking about that. When the right moment comes, me and my family and the coaching staff are gonna talk about it. But right now I’m not even thinking about that.”
Jemarl Baker (Fr.)
On decision: “I’m just sad for this team, really. I just wish I could’ve been out there to help them this year. I hurt just as much as everybody else. I’m not even worried about next year right now.”
On team’s potential next season: “If we had a full roster this year it would’ve been really good, but next year it’ll be great.”
Tai Wynyard (Soph.)
Tai Wynyard has been suspended since Feb. 6 for a “violation of team rules.” He didn’t travel with Kentucky in the postseason, and John Calipari was asked about his status.
“I don’t know that yet until we get back on campus and we get with all the players,” Calipari said.