Immanuel Quickley was the first 2018 recruit to commit to playing at Kentucky, and I think it is safe to assume he had a role in recruiting Keldon Johnson and Eli Montgomery. He has been a leader for this group since the day he made his announcement, and there is no reason to think he will slow down now.
Quickley meets every qualification for you want in a college point guard. He is an extraordinary ball handler. His basketball IQ is off the charts, and he has the ability to run an offense efficiently. And he has one quality that many John Calipari point guards have lacked: he’s a high-percentage shooter.
Immanuel Quickley ends up with a score of 17 in the 3 point shootout and is co-winner. pic.twitter.com/rqQFn5br2Q— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) March 27, 2018
Yes, I predicted that Quickley would come off of the bench. But as Coach Calipari said so many times last season, it is much more important who finishes the game than who starts.
Quickley is a closer. He is a leader. And he is a winner.
ESPN’s Myron Medcalf believes Quickley can be the guy in Lexington this year, and he even listed Quickley as Kentucky’s most exciting player.
“Quickley is a smooth, 6-foot-3 guard who is patient enough to wait for the right play,” Medcalf said. “He has a high basketball IQ, but he won’t fly through the air for windmill dunks. Still, he’s the flour of this Kentucky cake, a savvy leader and playmaker with a lot of Mike Conley in his game.”
That is a big compliment to Quickley when looking down the roster and seeing Keldon Johnson and Ashton Hagans in the back court.
To be clear, although I believe Quickley’s primary strengths are his decision-making, shooting, and leadership, he is a very athletic player that can get to the rack and make things happen.
Immanuel Quickley may or may not be in the starting lineup. He probably won’t be the leading scorer for this team, and he may not break the school’s single-season assist record.
But I fully expect him to be on the court in crunch time of close games.
If this team is to be as special as many are predicting, Quickley will have to be able to play his game and facilitate down the stretch when the Cats need buckets.
He may very well be the most important piece in this potential championship puzzle.
And he’s ready to get to work.
Immanuel Quickley's Instagram story showed the team in the gym last night at 11:27 p.m. and Quickley was back this morning before 7 a.m. I'm not pumping the brakes on this one because I get the feeling this will be a special group. pic.twitter.com/fpOxPKa0G8— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) June 5, 2018