Seeking greener pastures, UK guard Quade Green opts to leave Wildcats

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Kentucky coach John Calipari talks to guard Quade Green during a game last season. Green has decided to leave the team and transfer. (Tammie Brown/Kentucky Today)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Quade Green considered leaving Kentucky at the end of his freshman season. Following his third semester with the team, Green has decided to leave the program and transfer.

First reported by The Athletic on Wednesday, Green has decided to transfer at mid-season. Reportedly Green didn’t attend a workout session on Wednesday morning, which added more speculation concerning his future with the Wildcats. By Wednesday afternoon, his decision was official.

“I have loved my time at Kentucky and love coach Cal and the staff,” Green said. “This was a difficult decision and one I didn’t take likely. 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 support.”

Green met with Kentucky coach John Calipari Tuesday and “talked through a lot of different things” before making a final decision on his future plans.

“The thing that struck me most is what a great kid Quade is,” Calipari said. “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.”

Green, hindered by injuries last season, averaged 9.3 points and played 25.6 minutes per game. Through nine games this season, he is averaging eight points and 2 assists per game in 17.8 minutes. He played just 10 minutes in Kentucky’s loss to Seton Hall last weekend at Madison Square Garden. He led the team in turnovers with 21 and also dished out 21 assists this season.

Green reportedly was considering a transfer to La Salle last season, but he denied having any intention of leaving the program. He said in a preseason interview that his biggest struggle was adjusting to the college game.

“I think that comes when you come from high school to first year of college,” he said at the time. “I think it was kind of hard. We had the miscommunication or some parts of it on each other’s end. But other than that, I did whatever he wanted me to do. Me and him came to a conclusion, fixed it. Now he wanted to do this (penetrate more) and I’m going to help him and it’s going to be good.”

Green also said he was going to have fun despite the incoming freshman class that included guards Immanuel Quickley, Tyler Herro and Ashton Hagans.

“(Having that competition) helps mentally and physically,” he said. “You’ve got to come here with a chip on your shoulder every day… so when the game comes, nothing can hold you (back). Playing at Kentucky puts a chip on your shoulder for real.”

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

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