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CBS Sports thinks Immanuel Quickley returns to UK, who projects as No. 2 team next season

The expectation has been IQ leaves for the NBA, but CBS thinks he could return for Year 3.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In Gary Parrish’s recent Top-25 And 1, he projected the Kentucky Wildcats to start the season as the preseason No. 2 in the country behind Gonzaga.

Why so high?

Well, Parrish himself believes that Immanuel Quickley returns for his junior season at Kentucky.

“Right now, the projection here is that Nick Richards will join Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans as an early entrant to the NBA Draft, and that Immanuel Quickley will remain in college. But even people connected to the UK program will tell you this could go any number of ways,” Parrish said.

Even more interesting? Parrish doubled-down on that speculation in a recent interview:

“They’re expected to lose Nick Richards, but if they bring back Immanuel Quickley, the reigning SEC Player of the Year, and most people I have talked to think he is going to come back, they’re going to be able to pair him with the No. 1 recruiting class, featuring three five-star prospects.”

If there is any validity to this, then it seems the momentum might be swinging back into Kentucky’s favor of keeping Quickley for next season. When we will hear an announcement, whether good or bad, no one knows.

If Kentucky were to keep Quickley, that would make for an extremely high-powered and high-scoring front court, featuring IQ, Terrence Clarke, and BJ Boston.

Still, we should all expect Quickley to be in the NBA next season until he says otherwise. His stock may never be higher than it is right now, so the smart move may be to strike while the iron is hot.

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