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Four reasons why Quade Green’s decision to return was crucial for Kentucky

After mulling his professional and transfer options, Quade Green has reportedly decided to return to Kentucky for his sophomore season. And that news is massive for the Wildcats and their national championship hopes next year.

Here are four reasons why Green’s decision to return was crucial for the 2018-19 basketball season, and why that could lead to No. 9:

He’s going to be really, really good

To start things out, let’s just point out that Green has the potential to have a massive sophomore year as the lead man of the Wildcats. In 26 minutes per game last season, Green averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 assists on 45-percent shooting, 38-percent from three, and nearly 81-percent from the line. He had a hard time adjusting to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander being the lead man, but when the ball ran through him, good things usually followed.

His advanced numbers are impressive, averaging 14.5 points, 4.2 assists, and three rebounds PER-40 minutes. His effective field goal percentage of 53.1-percent was also solid.

He finished the year scoring fewer than ten points in five of six of Kentucky’s final games, but as the team’s leader and likely starting point guard, he’ll be able to put points on the board in a hurry.

Green is already an outstanding catch-and-shoot player, but with a full offseason to work on creating his own shot, defense, cutting down on turnovers, and fighting through contact, he can be special.

Guarantees a loaded backcourt

Before this decision, Immanuel Quickley, Tyler Herro, Jemarl Baker, and Brad Calipari were the only guards locked in for next season. Ashton Hagans committed to Kentucky, and will likely reclassify to the class of 2018, but he has said on multiple occasions it isn’t a certainty. If for whatever reason the top point guard in 2019 wasn’t able to reclassify and Green transferred, Calipari would have been scrambling at the last minute to find depth at the guard position. And it’s slim pickings at this point.

Now with Green back, the sophomore point guard can take over the lead role with Quickley playing off-ball. If Hagans reclassifies as expected, he would be a stud option to give Green a breather, while star shooters Herro and Baker can come in to replace Quickley. Perfect combination of depth, facilitating, shooting, and pure scoring.

There is also talk that Tyrese Maxey could still reclassify to 2018 and commit to Kentucky, which would easily give the Cats the most dominant backcourt in America.

When you go down the list of the last 11 national championship winners, each of them had a standout point guard to lead the way.

Mario Chalmers (Kansas), Ty Lawson (UNC), Jon Scheyer (Duke), Kemba Walker (UCONN), Marquis Teague (Kentucky), Peyton Siva (UofLOL), Shabazz Napier (UCONN), Tyus Jones (Duke), Josh Hart/Jalen Brunson (Villanova), Joel Berry (UNC), and Brunson again this past season.

With a backcourt of Green, Quickley, Hagans, Herro, and Baker, with the possibility of Maxey sprinkled on top, you better believe the Cats will be locked and loaded for next season.


According to KSR’s Matt Jones, John Calipari met with Green last week about returning to Kentucky as the team’s veteran leader. Apparently the pitch worked.

Coming out of high school, Green was seen as a guy recruits wanted to play with, especially compared to Oklahoma freshman sensation Trae Young. He was a vocal leader on the court and built chemistry off of it, with analysts and other top recruits describing him as the perfect teammate.

When Gilgeous-Alexander took over, however, that leadership got lost in the shuffle.

Even if Green left, Kentucky’s backcourt would’ve been talented with Hagans, Maxey, Quickley, Herro, and Baker. But none of them have played a minute of college basketball.

With Green, the Cats have a proven guard that was a big part of a Sweet 16 team and knows the grind of a full season. He knows what he has to work on for next season, and can show the newcomers some of the things he has learned. As mentioned above, national championship teams usually have a veteran point guard to lead the way. We saw it with Villanova specificially this past season.

Green has the potential to be that guy next season.

Allows incoming guards to find their footing

To build off of the previous section, Green’s return will allow for the newcomers to find their footing at the college level before being thrown in with the sharks.

This past season, Green, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Hamidou Diallo had never played on the big stage, and it was obvious at times. They were inconsistent, and it showed all the way through their season-ending loss to Kansas State. When one or two of the Kentucky guards struggled, the team usually struggled as a result.

Green is a sure-thing. We know he’s going to be able to come in and put points on the board next year for the Cats. While the other freshmen guards find their footing and acclimate to life as a college basketball player, Green can right the ship and keep things afloat. It could help avoid unnecessary losses early in the year, along with keeping the team alive in March.

Welcome back, Quade!

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

37 Comments for Four reasons why Quade Green’s decision to return was crucial for Kentucky

  1. BBNDan7
    8:11 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    Very nice jab at Louisville

  2. BBaxterUK
    8:13 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    Great news

  3. Fitz
    8:13 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    Very good news. I was worried that he would go to LaSalle where the new head coach recruiting him for Villanova.

  4. Cokely53
    8:21 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    Why is Peyton siva on there? I don’t remember Louisville winning a national championship.

  5. cayutsby5
    8:51 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    Jack- quade plays the 2 with hagans at the 1 if he reclassifies. Almost certainly.

    • tiffincatfan79
      9:05 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

      Never know. Could work out where Quade is the starter with Hagans backing him up and then you have Quickley, Herro, Johnson and Baker rotating through on the wing. Get any 2 of the 3 back from Wenyen, PJ and Vando and mixing them in with EJ and Richards and that is a great team.

    • a21CATSfan
      9:07 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink


      This is what I’m expecting next season. Two dynamic playmakers in Hagans and Vando getting the ball to scorers at every level. Shooters, size and talent off of the bench. Foul trouble may still play a factor in the front court.

  6. rcope58
    9:07 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    You can never underestimate the importance of returning experience. This is great news!

  7. callitlikeiseeit
    9:32 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    Before we start saying what a loaded back court we will have lets see how good they actually are. Right now we have no idea, will they live up to the hype like AD, Wall, KAT etc., or will they not be very good FR like we saw with last years class, Goodwin, Bricksoe, POY and many others. Either way Green and his experience is huge to return, need a couple more guys to stay and hope the FR are that good and we got a chance.

  8. ClutchCargo
    9:36 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    The fact that college basketball is mostly about guards makes this the best new yet, as far as returning players.

  9. Smyrna_Cat
    9:58 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    Just Four reasons? Not 5?

  10. Luether
    10:00 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    Jackie boy: Doubt that many consider Marquis Teague a “standout point guard”. Ky won the 2012 ‘ship because of Davis, Gilchrist, Lamb, and Jones. Teague was little more than a complimentary player on that Team…

    • Luether
      10:02 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

      Do agree that it’s good to have Green back for most of the reasons you cited…

    • njCat
      10:40 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

      Teague was second leading scorer in championship game, ran the offense and played about 35 minutes. Once he figured things out that year he was one if the most consistent players.

    • Cletis75
      1:44 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Teague could break down a zone defense all day. Which was very important to getting open looks for the other players. He was a nightmare for defenses, with his ability to get the ball to the free throw line, causing the d to collapse. Very underrated player on that team.

    • runningunnin.454
      9:54 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Luether boy, that’s nonsense; Teague was a great college point guard by the end of the season. Kansas couldn’t cover him in the title game. Drives to the bucket, mid-range jumpers, and 3 pointers including one big three when KU was trying to get back in the game.
      He ran the offense flawlessly; you should really learn the game.

    • theWilkman
      11:57 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

      Anyone who has a brain and watched the 2012 title run considers Teague a “standout point guard.” By March, he was running the offense as effectively as any PG Cal has had at UK.

      Every time I think Luether can’t be any dumber, he posts something like this.

  11. FACTS
    10:00 pm April 23, 2018 Permalink

    What we can hope to see next year alongside Green is Wenyen, Jarred, and P.J. If we get all them back we won’t have to worry about beating Harvard at the beginning of the year. We will al really appreciate and understand how important it is to have Quade back and to have all that experience on the court. What I also really like is how everyone loves Quade and says he is a good teammate.That makes me think about how well next years team will fit in with Quade. Next year will be fun. Especially, with a season opener against Duke. #BBN FOR LIFE

  12. BCO
    12:10 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Big time

  13. kuhlkat
    3:27 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Happy to have him but I think Hagans will eventually start over him.

  14. SamKat83
    6:36 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

    I believe in Quade’s abilities. Early on last season, I believed he was more important to the 17/18 Cats than Knox. Quade’s injuries and Knox’s inconsistencies made the coaching staff’s jobs very difficult. I’m happy that Gilgeous-Alexander stepped in an brought us a decent season. Next season could build to the ninth. Head to head, I take UK’s staff over Duke’s. We see a glimpse right away next go round.

  15. UKLugo
    7:27 am April 24, 2018 Permalink


  16. timer2
    7:57 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Rondo 2.0
    He will be the difference in close games next year.

  17. TJY
    8:36 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t like to bad mouth kids but I didn’t see much growth from Quade last year. At times he looked to me like he took shots because it was his turn to shoot. He never threw an alley oop high enough for our size to get it and smaller defense not to steal it. He passed one time on a fast break all season. At no point in the season did he look like a point guard to me and he got lost on defense. All of these things can be fixed but I think getting PJ and a healthy Vando are the most important pieces to our team being special next year.

  18. bigclubswinger
    9:01 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Great news. This kid was our most consistent shooter early in the season and the most unselfish player on the roster. Injuries set him back and it was an adjustment to play off the ball with Alexander’s emergence. I think he will be the leader we need next year. Thanks for coming back young fella!

  19. chrisg18
    9:14 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

    If Hagans comes next year, he may be more talented, but I think Green will be the starting point guard. I think he definitely will be to start the season. I could eventually see them interchanging both of the guard spots like Wall/Bledsoe shared the backcourt. As for the rest of the guards, I think it’s anyone’s guess of who will play. Nobody has any idea of how good any of those guys will be at the college level. Big guess on frontcourt too. Johnson as third guard or SF is only thing I am confident on. If I had to guess.

    G – Green/(Hagans/Quickley)
    G – Hagans/(Baker/Herro/Quickley)
    G/F – Johnson/(Vanderbilt/Wenyen/Herro)
    F – Vanderbilt/(PJ/Wenyen/Montgomery)
    F – PJ/(Richards/Montgomery)

    If all of these guys are back, these may be the 5 most talented guys, but it is not a very good shooting team, so I could easily see some of this change to put more shooters on the floor. I always lean towards experience over a new guy unless the new guy is just an obvious superstar. We have good freshman coming in, but nobody “special” from day 1. Just like last year. Hagans is only one close and I think he’ll be talented enough to start if he comes next year. So otherwise I think you have to give the nod to guys who have been here, even a guy like Baker. Both the backcourt guys and frontcourt guys are interchangeable so I didn’t list specific positions just generic G and F positions. I think this is how you will see Cal play them next year if he has a big roster like this. Positionless and lots of interchanging. My guess is we still lose one guy from our frontcourt to make it not quite so crowded. Lots of options and flexibility for Cal though.

  20. Alleykat16
    9:17 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

    He is a true point guard which he loves getting other players the ball where they can score. During the season he made some great passes which let the player make,some easy baskets, but it seemed to get lost in the shuffle when he missed those games with his back. Then of coarse Shea started to get what Cal was wanting and needing him to do. I’m really happy that Qaude is coming back we really need him to be that leads to and off the court

  21. luke_emberton
    10:02 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Wouldn’t call Teague a “standout” pg and it’s Archidiacino for Nova not Brunson in 2015

  22. Sentient Third Eye
    10:18 am April 24, 2018 Permalink

    The nice thing about all our guards next year is that they should complement one another nicely because they all are great overall players, but they will each bring something slightly different to the table. That diversity will come in handy because it will allow us to meet any matchup demand or create problems by taking advantage of opponents’ weaknesses. Especially if Cal isn’t really going to platoon anymore, we could see more exotic “specialized” lineups as an alternative. We could have the pressing unit, the zonebusting unit, etc.

  23. chris43
    12:17 pm April 24, 2018 Permalink

    Great news! Very happy to have him on the team next season. This shows that he isn’t afraid of competition and is ready to fight for PT. He’ll help us a ton next season. Now if we can only bring back Washington, Vanderbilt, and Gabriel! ?