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Immanuel Quickley came through in the clutch — again

© Jim Brown | USATSI

© Jim Brown | USATSI

When Kentucky found itself in a tough spot vs. Vanderbilt, Immanuel Quickley once again saved the day. Like he did vs. Louisville and Texas Tech, the sophomore guard hit some massive shots in the second half to turn the tide and help lead Kentucky to the 78-64 win.

With 13:29 left, Quickley hit a three to cut Vandy’s lead to two. Coming out of a timeout with 3:47 left, he stepped back and hit another three to push Kentucky’s lead to eight. On the Cats’ next possession, he drove the baseline but was thrown to the ground. Instead of pouting, he got back up, ran to the corner, caught a pass from Ashton Hagans, and buried another three to extend the lead to eleven.

“I ain’t gonna lie to you, every time I pass it to him, I just turn around and go down the court and smart smiling because I already know he hit it,” Ashton Hagans said after the game. “That’s Immanuel. He’s been in the gym a lot. He’s been locked in this year and is trying to prove something.”

“If Quick is shooting it, I’m worried about getting back on defense,” Tyrese Maxey said. “I’m ready to play defense because I know it’s going in.”

Quickley finished with 18 points, including three threes and a perfect 7-7 mark from the free-throw line; five rebounds; three assists; two turnovers; and a steal in 37 minutes. He led the team in efficiency at +17. How valuable is he to this squad? John Calipari admitted afterwards that one of the reasons Kentucky got off to such a poor start was because he mixed up his guards, running plays to Tyrese Maxey instead of Quickley.

“We started the game and I thought I was running stuff to Immanuel but I ran the wrong side of the floor, so it ended up being to Tyrese, and we started, 8-0, 5-0. We were supposed to be going to the other side of the floor and then to Immanuel. That’s who I like to start a game with because I have a lot of confidence in him and he’s tougher. He’s just physically tougher. And he hits free throws.”

After tonight’s game, Quickley is averaging 92.5% from the free-throw line, which ranks second in the country. While Ashton Hagans and Nick Richards may be Kentucky’s most important players, there’s no one I’d rather have on the court more in crunch time than Quickley. I think these fans agree:


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.

13 Comments for Immanuel Quickley came through in the clutch — again

  1. RealCatsFan
    10:30 pm February 11, 2020 Permalink

    We are really, really REALLY going to miss IQ next year. I love Nick and the way he has worked so hard and stuck with it, but IQ is my favorite player on the team.

    • trumpetguy
      1:08 am February 12, 2020 Permalink

      IQ is an absolute baller. Efficient scorer, reminds me of Doron Lamb some

  2. Han
    10:33 pm February 11, 2020 Permalink

    For maybe the first time since Cal got here, I don’t worry about us making free throws at the end if Quickley’s still on the floor.

    Nick’s been awesome at it, too, and Hagans and Maxey are also better than most Cal guards. If they all keep it up, we’re gonna win more close games than most of Cal’s teams, and that’s often been an achilles heel for us in the tourney. (Well, that and 3-pt shooting…sigh.)

  3. michaelb
    11:35 pm February 11, 2020 Permalink

    Quick has been like THE best 2 guard in the country and has gotten zero ink about it

  4. dan1965
    2:14 am February 12, 2020 Permalink

    Quickly has been my favorite player all year,and I honestly felt from the start he’d be the best. Love his ft shooting also,really gonna miss him next year for sure !

  5. Dark Soul
    6:29 am February 12, 2020 Permalink

    Is he even projected to go? I know he should be.

    • Dark Soul
      6:35 am February 12, 2020 Permalink

      The ones I looked up didnt have him listed and one had Whitley down which is crazy to me.

  6. JASUN74
    6:40 am February 12, 2020 Permalink

    Quickly will probably be right here again next year if I was guessing, and the truth is if he wants to try to get into the lottery, he needs to. He could go and be somewhere in the second round, but he could stay and have another great year and work on his body and be in the top twenty or better.

    At 6’2, ( I know they list him at 6’3 with shoes), but still, all he needs to do is gain about 15 pounds over the next year and he’s a guy you will have a hard time passing on. Maybe Player of the year in college Basketball next year. Just my opinion, no matter what he does I’ll be rooting for him. I just think it would help him in the long run.

  7. Bluehender
    7:50 am February 12, 2020 Permalink

    IQ should be first team all-SEC, but will probably be snubbed. I hope not, he’s deserving of it

  8. Jeffrey_M
    7:17 pm February 12, 2020 Permalink

    Just our of pure selfishness, I hope Quick doesn’t leave at the end of this year. He’s been phenomenal to watch. Just a stunning, stunning change over what he was last season. Almost the opposite. He’s kept his humility and meekness, but now he has toughness, aggression,confidence, and leadership to go with that. He is our clutch man, without a doubt. I can’t imagine what he’ll be like next year if he returns – one of the top players in the nation, if he’s not already that. So proud of this young man.

  9. theweeze
    10:39 am February 13, 2020 Permalink

    Would be nice to have IQ stay and be our Cassius Winston type player. Become an All SEC/American type player, build his body and then go to the league. Same could be said for a few more players (EJ) but we know they will not stay. These kids are in such a rush and do not see how taking an extra year or two to hone their craft would benefit them so much and help them mature as well. Just think of how many of our players could have benefited themselves if they had stayed that extra year or two instead of jumping to the league or not getting there at all. Such a shame.

  10. Jeffrey_M
    8:41 pm February 13, 2020 Permalink

    @theweeze: You are 100% correct. I couldn’t agree more. And it would just be thrilling to see IQ “be our Cassius Winston.” Only time will tell.