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Paul Biancardi on Kentucky’s loaded backcourt


Photo by Quinn Foster, UK Athletics

Jay Bilas brought his colleague Paul Biancardi on today’s show to discuss Kentucky’s incoming freshmen, specifically, all those guards. Here’s what ESPN’s recruiting analyst had to say about Immanuel Quickley, Tyler Herro, and Ashton Hagans, who will share the backcourt with sophomores Quade Green and Jemarl Baker this fall.

“[Immanuel] Quickley is a high IQ point guard. Not a great athlete, but he’s really fluid, he makes open shots, he’s steady and he’s consistent. That’s what I like most about him. He’s going to bring it every day. He doesn’t wow you with athleticism, he doesn’t create a lot of space for himself to get shots. He hits the open man off the screen, he drives, he finds the open man. He makes very good decisions and that’s going to help a lot.

“[Tyler] Herro, he’s the shooter of this class in terms of making a three-point shot. Great elevation and he’s, in my mind, got the best middle game coming into college. Inside the arc, outside the paint, this guy has a tremendous pull up game. He’s going to get Calipari buckets. He’s the guy you want to run off screens and Quickley’s the guy that’s going to find them. It’s a very good combination.

“But the guy for me, they just got, is Ashton Hagans, who reclassified from 2019 to 2018. He’s a bullet. He’s speed in the open floor. He’s a great two-way player. Point guard as well. They’re going to be really deep next year at that point guard position. Ashton Hagans is going to be outstanding for them.”

All of those guards…who will start? Biancardi likes a backcourt of Hagans, Herro, and Keldon Johnson.

“I like Hagans to start at point guard, I do. I don’t think he would reclassify and come in this late if he wasn’t going to start or have a great chance to start. I’d say he would start at the 1. I think Keldon Johnson, he’s the young man from Oak Hill, he’s one of the hardest playing dudes in high school last year. He’s going to put himself on the floor, he’s going to put himself in the starting lineup. I’d say those two guys will start and probably Tyler Herro, because of his shooting ability, would be at the 1, 2, and 3.”

For more great insight on this year’s roster from Paul and Jay, check out today’s podcast:

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

8 responses to “Paul Biancardi on Kentucky’s loaded backcourt”

  1. kenny

    I think quade green starts.

    1. shelby

      I agree. Quade will be on the floor at tipoff.

    2. unbridled

      I think quade is going to be very impactful this year regardless if he starts or not….but I agree, I think he starts.

    3. unbridled

      * although I’m not sure quade starts as a true point guard.

  2. BBNDan7

    Unless Herro plays defense much better than we’ve been told, there’s no way he starts

  3. Carcrook

    Unless Green has improved he will be coming off the bench, which isn’t a bad thing. He lost the starting job to SGA the last season, recruited over, never looked like a typical Cal, PG! He’s definitely got a lot to prove, before being anointed a starter! After reading several interviews, whoever is knocking down jumpers, will be rewarded, plenty of PT!

  4. friendsofcoal

    Green will be coming off the bench when the reg season starts. Hagans will show that he deserves it in the Bahamas.

  5. trumpetguy

    This sounds to me like the very definition of depth. Who starts games is only good for ones ego, not much else. If Cal uses these guys a LOT in various tandems, then it should be a great advantage. Most all teams have 3-4-5-6 pretty good players that can compete. Difference comes in at 6-7-8-9 where UK should have upper hand most nights, but ONLY if Cal takes advantage of it. Bigger guys who have more TOs than assists, can’t have any offense run through them, etc. shoot poor FT% and the like may be the odd men out as far as minutes are concerned. I foresee a smaller quicker team on the floor quite a bit. Quick, clean ball/player movement, pressure on the ball defensively, coupled with guys that can make shots is a recipe for success. Time will tell. Just hope our half court offense doesn’t continue to be run like the players are in quick sand! Man they struggle to get quick/clean open looks. Vast majority of our points come in a grind it out mode….much easier to defend and results in WAY TOO MANY shot-clock issues. With this type of potential ball handling/passing, quick, crisp player movement, with this new group of guards/wings, etc., UK should be very high nationally in FG attempts per game, and FGs made per game.