The transition of Immanuel Quickley from his freshman to sophomore year is one of the more impressive feats for Kentucky basketball under John Calipari. Quickley was nothing more than a decent role-player his freshman year, playing behind the likes of Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson, only averaging 5.2 points per game.
The next year, Quickley upped his game to a phenomenal level, increasing his scoring by over 11 points per game and increasing his three-point percentage by an astounding 8%, to an unreal total of 42.8% from behind the arc in 2019-20.
Quickley’s fantastic sophomore campaign was good enough to earn him SEC Player of the Year and First Team All-SEC and a boosted draft stock to go with it.
- Position: Combo Guard
- Height: 6’3”
- Weight: 188 lbs
- Points Per Game: 16.1
- Shooting Percentage: 41.7%, 42.8% 3PT, 92.3% FT
- Draft Predictions:
NBADraft.Net: 42nd to the New Orleans Pelicans
NBC Sports: 59th to the Toronto Raptors
Tankathon: 54th to the Indiana Pacers
Sports Illustrated: 34th
Strengths: The obvious strength for Immanuel Quickley is shooting. Quickley lit up conference play for Kentucky this season, and his 42+% from three is something that can easily translate to today’s NBA game. When Quickley is open, you should feel confident that the ball is going in.
Quickley has a smooth shooting stroke and always has the same routine when going up for a shot, which is what great shooters do. Quickley also strives from the free-throw line, where he shot above 92% this year.
Quickley is also a fantastic floor-spacer, running and seeing plays develop before they happen. It seemed like whenever Quickley hit a three last season, he was standing wide open due to his ability to get open and space the floor.
Along with his ability to hit the open three, IQ always displayed a keen ability to use an effective shot fake to get in the lane for a smooth one dribble pull-up or floater.
Quickley is also a very solid on-ball defender. His length in college made him the prime go-to defender for the Wildcats last year, surpassing Ashton Hagans.
Weaknesses: Immanuel Quickley committed to Kentucky with hopes of being the point guard of the future for the Wildcats, but that went out the window with the addition of Ashton Hagans, who commanded point guard duties for the last two seasons for the Wildcats.
In the NBA, Quickley will have to run point guard, as his size and lack of super athleticism could be seen as a disadvantage at the shooting guard position. Quickley was the third guard in a three-guard set, playing in a very small ball lineup, so if he ends up in a place such as Houston or Golden State, it could be beneficial and play more to his style.
Explosiveness is another trait that Quickley lacks. IQ scored most of his buckets off his ability to read a defense, create space, and use screens to maneuver his way to an open position. IQ isn’t the quickest on the floor, but his speed overall is not bad.
With Quickley going to assume some point guard duties in the league, he did not have much experience running point at Kentucky, as his career assist average is only 1.5 assists per game. And that isn’t IQ’s fault, as stated before that Hagans assumed the role of point guard for the past two years, playing alongside Quickley. Quickley will have to work on running an offense and becoming a better passer.
Conclusion: Immanuel Quickley is projected as a second-round pick, ranging anywhere from early second to late second. With how today’s NBA is played, Quickley could be a fantastic three-and-D player, but his size at only 6-3, may have him assuming point guard duties for a team with him having no real point guard role while at Kentucky for two seasons.
While there are not many three-and-D guards out there, Quickley could certainly be one of them, as his knockdown shot and good on-ball defense could be a valuable asset to a team on the verge of making a breakthrough in the playoffs.
With the right system and play-style, such as Houston, Golden State, Phoenix, Milwaukee, IQ could have a very successful NBA career and be one of the better pro success of Calipari players in the league.
The potential for Quickley is most certainly there.