Quade Green has found his next home.
As reported by Jeff Borzello, sophomore point guard will transfer to the Washington Huskies.
Kentucky transfer Quade Green tells ESPN he has committed to Washington.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) December 20, 2018
Huge pickup for Mike Hopkins.
The connection between Green and the Huskies is head coach Mike Hopkins, who was an assistant with the Syracuse Orange when they were heavily recruiting the five-star class of 2018 guard.
Since then, Hopkins has become the head coach at Washington, so that previous connection made it easy for Green to pick the Huskies.
While Green came to Kentucky with a lot of fanfare, he was never quite able to live up to his five-star hype. From the start, Green wasn’t a good fit at Kentucky, primarily due to the kind of point guards John Calipari tends to favor. Green is 6-0, making him one of the shortest guards Calipari has recruited at Kentucky.
The only other two ‘short’ guards Calipari has recruited were Tyler Ulis (5-9) and Eric Bledsoe (6-1). However, both of them were recruited to be backups as freshman playing behind or next to Andrew Harrison and John Wall,respectfully.
Green was actually a decent player next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander last year, though his defense made him a major liability far too often. Green also struggled with turnovers playing off the ball, which has reared its ugly head again this season. He’s committed 15 turnovers over his last five games vs. just eight assists.
But perhaps the biggest reason why Green is a poor fit under Calipari is the severe lack of defense. Of course, it’s harder to play defense when you’re 6-0, but Green has just been too underwhelming at UK to warrant keeping on the floor for extended stretches.
People will argue he’s a good three-point shooter that needs to see the floor more for a team lacking in this regard, but it’s hard to justify that when he’s giving it right back on the other end.
Green needs to be ‘the’ point guard for him to be at his best, and that’s just not happening at Kentucky, at least if they want to go far in March.
Green strongly considered a transfer over the summer due to Kentucky bringing in Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley to battle for the point guard spot. Along with Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson fighting for the other backcourt minutes, that meant there was a real chance Green would find himself glued to the bench this season.
That’s what’s happened over his last two games, as he played in just eight minutes against UNC Greensboro, which was easily Kentucky’s best game of the season. He then played in just 10 minutes in the overtime loss to Seton Hall.
Again, Green may be the best three-point shooter on this team, but he’s not a good defender and is turning the ball over far too often. He managed to commit three turnovers with no assists against the Pirates while hitting 1/3 shots.
Quickley and Hagans combined to shoot 6/13 with six assists vs. two turnovers. They’re both also better defenders than Green, especially Hagans, which is why the two freshman are playing more than the sophomore.
But while Hagans and Quickley are ahead of Green, neither looks like legitimate NBA prospects right now, which means they both may be back as sophomores next year. And with Tyrese Maxey coming in, that could lead to Green again being a fixture on the bench.
Instead of letting himself become a bench player for the foreseeable future, Green has found a school where he can have a major role as early as the second semester of the 2019-20 season.
When a college athlete transfers, they have to sit out for a full year due to NCAA guidelines. By transferring in the middle of the 2018-19 season, that means Green will be eligible to play in the 2020 spring semester at Washington.
While it’s not ideal to miss the first semester with whatever team he lands with, it does mean Green won’t miss a full season of basketball. He’ll just miss the 2019 spring semester and the 2019 fall semester.