Despite a dismal start in his first game of the Bahamas trip, Quade Green followed it up with three strong games in a row.
To put it simply, Green was terrible versus the Bahamas National Team on Wednesday night. I know it’s only August, but after such a good game by pretty much everyone else, it was disappointing to see the veteran point guard play so horribly.
Green was 1-11 from the field and 0-6 from three-point land for a whopping two points. He had five assists and only one turnover, but as the team put up 85 points in a blowout victory, it looked like Quade was being passed up.
However, Quade said not so fast. Following his poor outing, Green immediately picked his head up and got back to work.
If this doesn’t get UK fans excited for the upcoming season, I’m not sure what will. A few hours after playing a complete basketball game, Green was right back in the gym, by himself, trying to get better.
That is the kind of leadership and discipline that will make this team special.
That also began what turned into a trend for the Wildcats during their Bahamas trip, as players began hitting the gym at midnight each night in paradise.
“What would you call it? The Midnight Club? These dudes are in here at midnight, 1 a.m. I was happy with Quade. He missed every shot the first game, every single one and at midnight was in this room,” Calipari said Sunday. “And then came out and made his first three shots. Is it something I said? Is it something that I did? No.”
And man, did it help. In the second game against San Lorenzo de Almagro on Thursday night, Green put up 10 points on 4-4 shooting from the field, 1-1 from deep, and 1-2 from the free throw line. He was a completely different Quade Green than the one that played on Wednesday night.
But that wasn’t good enough for Green. It wanted to continue to get better. And the hard work spread.
This shows the kind of leadership Green brings with him being a rare second-year player. And he continued to play well. In the third game versus Mega Bemax, arguably the best team UK played during the trip, Green put up another cool 10 points on 4-6 shooting from the field, 1-2 from three, and 1-2 from the free throw line.
And before the last game Sunday against Team Toronto, Quade was back out on the floor early working his tail off to continue getting better.
Green went on an 8-0 run by himself in the game Sunday when the team was a little slow coming out of the gates, and at one point, he had made 11 of his last 13 shots during the three-game span.
Green finished Sunday with 14 points on 6-9 shooting from the field and 2-3 from the three-point line. He came to play even after playing four games in only five days.
And the most impressive part was the things he’s added to his arsenal since last season. First, he pulls up to hit a three pointer in transition.
Quade Green pulls up in transition and nails the second of back to back 3's. pic.twitter.com/KhIchx8SMb— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
And then here as Quade takes his man off the dribble and hits the tough pull-up jumper.
Tough baseline pull up jumper by Quade Green. pic.twitter.com/jyIrKDnyIe— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
And then one more move right here where he gets the defender off his feet with the sweet pump fake before finishing with a nice lay in.
Quade Green with the out of bounds pump fake and take. pic.twitter.com/IxzCQfx2EN— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
How nice is it to see Kentucky score on an out of bounds play for once?
The point is this is what it looks to have a team filled with, not only elite freshmen, but a hungry group of veterans. Quade exemplifies that. He was in the gym constantly, he was a leader, he was under control, and he looked like a different player after playing so terribly in game one.
The best part for me was he was very Tyler Ulis-esque throughout the trip, whether it be pulling up in the lane for a mid-range jump shot or just finding a way to get the ball in basket despite being so undersized.
Quade Green high off the glass. pic.twitter.com/HAS4Krc7c1— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 11, 2018
It just shows the work he’s put in this offseason to get better and, hopefully, lead this team to No. 9!