Hours after Kentucky landed a commitment from five-star Class of 2018 power forward E.J. Montgomery, another former five-star in its projected frontcourt for next season, UK sophomore forward Sacha Killeya-Jones, announced he will request his release and seek opportunities to continue his career elsewhere.
"The past 2 years at Kentucky have been an amazing journey and I want to thank all of my coaches, teammates and fans who made it possible," he said on Twitter. "After much deliberation with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to ask for my release and explore other opportunities at this time."
Killeya-Jones arrived at Kentucky as a blue-chip prospect in part of UK's 2016 recruiting class. He was ranked as a top-25 player in the class, and the No. 10 prospect at his position.
After two seasons though, Killeya-Jones was never able to really break in to John Calipari's full-time roster rotation. He averaged 10 minutes and 3 points per contest in two campaigns at Kentucky. As a sophomore, he averaged 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game, providing a spark as a bench contributor during the 2017-18 season.
"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," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "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.
"With that said, when a kid comes to me and believes what's best for him is somewhere else, they always have my full support. 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."
Although Killeya-Jones would have been one of the veterans on the 2018 roster at Kentucky, playing time would still have been a battle. With E.J. Montgomery committing and P.J. Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt and Nick Richards still uncommitted about staying or going, he likely would have been relegated to a bench role again as a junior.