When you look at Quade Green, his 6-foot frame exemplifies the build of a point guard, but we may see him in a different position in his sophomore season.
Green showed his ability to move off the ball and score it in the Bahamas, and in today’s college game, he doesn’t need to be 6-6 to do that as a two-guard.
“Quade right now, away from the ball he’s unbelievable,” Calipari said, according to Jon Hale of the Louisville Courier Journal. “He can score it, he figures out spots to go, he doesn’t have to pull the ball out. I want him off the ball. And I just told him, ‘If you’re on a team with Keldon (Johnson) in the NBA, Keldon’s the point guard. You ain’t playing point guard.’”
Green shot 50 percent from the field in his four Bahamas games. He shot 33 percent from deep, but that percentage was heavily skewed by an 0 for 6 performance from 3-point range in game one. Green shot 74 percent from the field and 67 percent from 3-point range in games two, three and four.
Green played as a primary ball handler as a freshman, showing his strengths as being a passer and making pull-up mid range jumpers. He did work off the ball some as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander emerged as the team’s best point guard. He looked much better in an off-the-ball role in the Bahamas.
Another person who thinks Green could excel off the ball is Philadelphia-based trainer James Clark, who has worked with Green since high school.
“If Quade was 6-5, Quade wouldn’t even be at UK right now; he’d be on a NBA roster getting ready to play,” said Clark. “But unfortunately, he’s a small guard who can stroke the 3 ball, who can play off the ball. I think having that ability to shoot is going to make him that more attractive to hopefully NBA execs, but for Cal to have that luxury to have a guy who’s a point guard, who can play both one and two and you bring in a freshman and move Quade over to a two guard, that’s every coach’s dream to have something like that.”
Keldon Johnson’s versatility also makes him a candidate to be Kentucky’s primary ball handler for stretches, and Tyler Herro also showed he can run the offense. Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley are also quality ball handlers, so Green would likely be best served to look to excel in a shooting guard role, focusing on off-the-ball movement and hitting catch-and-shoot jumpers.
Regardless of where he actually plays, Green has made it clear he can make an impact on and off the ball, and his veteran leadership will also prove very valuable for a Kentucky team that has six new players but is already one of the favorites to win it all next season.
Be sure to go read Hale’s full interview here.
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