We’ve gotten used to Immanuel Quickley being clutch in key situations, but today, he saved the Cats after one of his worst halves of the season.
In the first half, Quickley was 1-9 from the floor, including 0-5 from three, and at the start of the second half, it looked like his shooting woes were going to continue; however, with Kentucky down seven at the 11:39 mark, the hero gene kicked in. Quickley scored seven points to spark a 9-2 run to tie the game. After that, he had another big jumper to keep Kentucky within one with 6:36 left, and from there, hit four of four free throws, two to put the Cats up by three with six seconds left. As we’ve seen time and time again this year, Quickley shifts into a different gear when the game is tight, which is doubly impressive given how poorly he played early on today.
“Again, he missed every jump shot too now,” John Calipari said of Quickley after the game. “Then he made his free throws and came up with balls.”
When asked how Quickley was able to rebound from a bad first half to spur Kentucky’s comeback, Calipari chalked it up to a will to win.
“We had two breakdowns that he and Tyrese [Maxey] made shots vs. the zone and we just broke down, we didn’t screen. We end up having to throw some at the rim and they both went in. Again, a will to win. Like, a will to win.”
Thank goodness for Immanuel Quickley.