Immanuel Quickley’s heater ended in Arkansas, yet he still accomplished something he had never done before in a Kentucky uniform.
Entering the matchup with the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Quickley had hit ten of his last 13 three-pointers. Once he got inside Bud Walton Arena, Quickley went cold. The sophomore guard made only one-of-five threes. Inside the line, he couldn’t buy a bucket. His floaters that are typically money, and even his easy put-backs, would not fall. He finished only 3-of-14 from the field.
Despite his offensive shortcomings, Kentucky would not have won without Quickley’s contributions.
“Immanuel Quickley had ten (rebounds). I thought he did a great job,” said Kenny Payne. “I thought he did a great job down the stretch of leading us, being a leader. At the end of the day, our veterans have to be good. Look across the country and you’ll see teams — there’s not a lot of wiggle room for anybody. Nobody’s more talented than anybody else. We say this everyday, we can beat anybody, or we can lose to anybody. We got sophomores and juniors for us, at Kentucky that’s veterans. Those guys have to lead us and they did a great job tonight.”
Quickley made six free throws to finish with 13 points and 10 rebounds to record his first career double-double. When he wasn’t cleaning the glass, he was locking up Isaiah Joe. The SEC’s fourth-leading scorer (17.8 ppg.) made his first two threes, then hit only two more shots the rest of the game. Quickley’s defense was a big reason why Joe only scored 13 points.
“He’s a pro’s pro,” said Tyrese Maxey. “He sticks with his training. His shot’s not falling. He’s gotta do something else to stay on the court. He played really good defense on No. 1 (Isaiah Joe) and got every single rebound that came off, so I’m proud of him.”