Did Kentucky guard Quade Green consider transferring?
A morning of rumors led to a decision by early afternoon: Quade Green is leaving the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team.
The sophomore guard notified Coach John Calipari of his decision on Wednesday and will have the ability to transfer to any school he wants without restrictions.
“I have loved my time at Kentucky and love Coach Cal and the staff,” Green said in a news release. “This was a difficult decision and one I didn’t take lightly. However, after talking with my family and the coaching staff, I just felt like it was best that I explore other opportunities for my athletic and academic future. I have enjoyed my time at Kentucky and I’ll never forget the Big Blue Nation for its love and its support.”
Reports surfaced Wednesday morning that Green was considering transferring, and his mother, Tamika Johnson, confirmed her son’s departure was a possibility.
A little after 1 p.m., UK released a statement saying Green will transfer.
“I met with Quade yesterday and we talked through a lot of different things,” Calipari said in the news release. “The thing that struck me most is what a great kid Quade is. He felt like he was in a position that he couldn’t overcome and he had the maturity to come in and sit down and talk through it with me.”
Green, a McDonald’s All-American and five-star point guard prospect out of Philadelphia, has been one of UK’s better three-point shooters in a season when perimeter shooting has been inconsistent. His 11 three-pointers are the third-most on the team. His 42.3-percent shooting accuracy on threes is third best. Only PJ Washington (.533) and Reid Travis (.571) have shot three-pointers more accurately. But each has taken fewer three-point shots.
Green began the 2017-18 season as Kentucky’s starting point guard. He started eight of the first nine games, and 13 of the first 15.
Thereafter, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander became UK’s point guard with Green moving to shooting guard.
Green reportedly considered transferring last summer. He denied the report.
“Never crossed my mind,” he said in June. He laughed at one report saying he could return to his hometown to play for LaSalle. “That was hilarious,” he said.
In June, Green welcomed the new competition for his sophomore season in the form of heralded freshman point guards Immanuel Quickley and Ashton Hagans.
“That’s why you come to Kentucky,” he said. “To be competitive and compete.”
In June, Green said his spirit was renewed.
“I’m more happy this year,” he said. “I’ve got my confidence back. Well, not back, but to a whole new level.”
Green’s minutes and production have diminished in recent games.
He played only 10 minutes against Seton Hall on Saturday. He scored two points and had three turnovers.
Against UNC Greensboro a week earlier, Green played a career-low eight minutes. For the season, he is averaging 8.0 points and 17.8 minutes. Both numbers are down from last season’s 9.3 points and 25.6 minutes.
Green appeared in 43 games for the Wildcats over parts of two seasons, averaging 9.0 points and 2.6 assists per game.
“Quade has my full support with this decision,” Calipari said. “We haven’t had many kids leave, but when we do, we always support them and, in just about every case, stay in touch with each other. I hope that will be the case with Quade.”