Do the new Kentucky Wildcats already have a shooting problem?
During Wednesday’s night NBA Draft, former Kentucky Wildcats sharpshooter Immanuel Quickley was taken 25th overall by the New York Knicks, completing what’s been quite the ascension for a guy who averaged just 5.2 points per game as a freshman.
Quickley’s specialty for the 2019 SEC champion Wildcats was his lights-out shooting, something this year’s Kentucky team may be lacking as the new season begins next week.
After the Maryland native was drafted, head coach John Calipari had a Facetime celebration with the Quickley family. Calipari also made a remark that may make Kentucky fans a little uneasy with the regular season beginning next week.
“I miss him (Quickley) already. We can’t make any shots,” exclaimed Calipari.
“Hey Coach. I was missing early in the season too. Just give them some time,” Quickley replied.
Shooting has been a consistent issue for Kentucky in recent years. They’ve typically had one reliable shooter (Quickley last year), then several guys who can hit threes but struggle to consistently do it.
Heading into the new season, it’s unclear who will be Kentucky’s top shooters, and Calipari’s comments seem to confirm that. Terrence Clarke, Devin Askew, Brandon Boston and Davion Mintz are capable of being good shooters, but three of those guys are freshmen who will have growing pains, and perhaps three-point shooting will be one of them.
Whatever the case may be, Kentucky has a challenging stretch to start the season that will see them play four games in seven days, including No. 5 Kansas in the Champions Classic, as well as a Richmond team picked to win the A-10 and was very close to being a preseason top-25 team.
Do Calipari’s comments concern you, or do you think Calipari is just exaggerating?
We’ll find out next week.