Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery will dominate the headlines after Kentucky’s 80-72 win over Mississippi State, but it’s worth noting that Immanuel Quickley tied a school record.
With a 14-14 performance from the free-throw line, Quickley tied the mark for most free-throw attempts without a miss in a single game in Kentucky Basketball history, joining Louie Dampier (vs. Oregon State, 12/22/1966), Ramel Bradley (vs. Gardner-Webb, 11/7/2007), and Jodie Meeks (vs. Tennessee, 1/13/2009). He wasn’t the only one making his free throws. Nick Richards was 13-15 from the line, bringing their combined total to 27-29. That’s really, really good.
Quickley finished with 21 points tonight despite hitting only three field goals, which also has to be some kind of record. He’s scored in double figures in 11 straight games and has 20+ points in three of the last four. He’s currently shooting 92.5% from the free-throw line, which is tied for third nationally through Monday’s games. As a team, the Cats are making 78.3% of their free throws this season, the best percentage of the John Calipari Era.
“Those last eight or ten fouls, they fouled purposefully, but we made free throws,” Calipari said afterwards. “That’s big. We went up and knocked free throws down. Nick made his, Immanuel made his, Ashton [Hagans] made his. When a team is trying to foul you, you’ve got to be able to say, ‘You’re not winning this way. We’ll make these.’ That was big for us.”
Who knows what will happen come March, but if Kentucky keeps hitting free throws like this, I like my team.