It’s rare for John Calipari to not have the best freshman in the SEC on his team.
This year may be different, as Michael Porter Jr. of Missouri is going to be the overwhelming favorite to win SEC Freshman of the Year. However, Calipari is going to have several players fighting Porter for that award.
According to Scout.com, the Cats have two of the SEC’s most impactful freshmen this coming season: P.J. Washington and Quade Green. Here’s what Evan Daniels, Brian Snow and Josh Gershon had to say.
5. P.J. Washington
A new age face up four man, Washington can make threes, is a good decision maker, can score down low and rebound the basketball. Washington also plays with an excellent motor and is a threat for a double-double every time he is out on the court. He might not be the Wildcat freshman with the highest ceiling, but Washington could be the most ready to make a big impact.
3. Quade Green
From John Wall and Eric Bledsoe to Brandon Knight and De'Aaron Fox, the Cats have had a long list of impactful players at this spot. Now Quade Green is much different than those four, but he's very effective in his own right. Green has good command of his teams, terrific vision, is a talented passer and he's also a shot maker from long-range.
It’s shocking to see that guys like Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo aren’t even on this list, but that just goes to show the depth of this recruiting class.
It also shows just how important both Green and Washington are, not to mention how much they can impact a game in various ways, whereas Know and Diallo are viewed as players who will do most of their damage in the scoring department.
That’s probably not the case with Green, who is one of the best pure passers in the 2017 class, not to mention a great on-ball defender. He’s going to have major impacts in games without scoring much, which is also true of Washington, who can do seemingly everything well. Whether it’s defense, rebounding, blocking shots or even passing, Washington is as complete of a forward as you could ask for.
In a separate piece, SEC Country’s Kyle Tucker spoke with recruiting guru Evan Daniels about Green, his impact and what to expect of the freshman point guard. Daniels has scouted Green enough to see how he’ll be used by John Calipari.
“What stands out about Quade is his ability to run a team. He’s got good leadership skills, can really pass and distribute, and he knows how to set up guys,” said Daniels. “He can also help them with his jump shot; he’s as good a shooter outside of Jemarl Baker that they’ll have on that team. But his primary role, I think, will be that of a distributor and set-up man.”
Green may not have the fanfare of past guards like John Wall, De’Aaron Fox or even Marquis Teague, but he has the potential to make a major impact for a UK team that looks like a Final Four contender.