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Kentucky’s Quade Green will transfer

Winthrop v Kentucky

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 21: John Calipari the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats gives instructions to Quade Green #0 against the Winthrop Eagles at Rupp Arena on November 21, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Kentucky point guard Quade Green will transfer out of the program, the school announced on Wednesday.

Green is a former McDonald’s All-American, but despite returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season, he has seen his minutes decline. He averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 assists in more than 25 minutes as a freshman, although he eventually lost his starting spot to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. In nine games this year, he’s playing less than 18 minutes a night and averaging 8.0 points.

In the last two games, he’s played a total of 18 minutes as Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley have taken over the lion’s share of the backcourt minutes.
“I have loved my time at Kentucky and love Coach Cal and the staff,” Green said in a statement. “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.”

“I met with Quade yesterday and we talked through a lot of different things,” head coach John Calipari said. “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.

“Quade has my full support with this decision. 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.”

Sources told NBC Sports over the summer that Green, a native of Philadelphia, was considering a transfer from the program after it became clear that Calipari was bringing in two more five-star point guards, but Green never left.

Green has been by far the most consistent three-point shooter in Kentucky’s backcourt, knocking down 42.3 percent from distance, but defensive issues and and concerns about his ability to handle the point guard role full-time have kept him off the floor. We discussed some of Calipari and Kentucky’s offensive limitations on the podcast this week, and losing Green would only add to those woes: