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Will Kentucky miss Quade Green more than some want to believe?

Quade Green (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It’s kind of amazing to hear and see comments about Quade Green not being a willing leader or good enough shooter and that the sophomore guard’s decision to leave Kentucky won’t be that big a deal to the Wildcats.

Flash back two years ago when Green picked Kentucky and everyone was excited about landing the Philadelphia point guard who then helped recruit other players to join him at UK.

Kentucky sophomore Nick Richards had already committed to Kentucky before Green, his friend.

“I thought national championship to be honest with you,” Richads said not long after Green committed. “I think he’s the No. 1 point guard in my class. He should be the No. 1 point guard in my class and he is the best point guard in my class.”

Kentucky already had commitments from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and P.J Washington along with Richards when Green committed. Later Kevin Knox and Jarred Vanderbilt also committed. So did Hamidou Diallo.

Paul Washington, PJ Washington’s father, told Knox and his family one reason he should pick Kentucky is because Green was so good at getting teammates the ball in the right positions to score.

DraftExpress.com had this analysis of Green’s strengths when he came to UK:

“Advanced passer who can play make in transition, make all the necessary reads out of ball screens and drive and kick/dish in the half court. Excellent timing. Can deliver the ball with either hand.Capable shooter who can make an open three with time and space. Soft touch on floaters. Tough nosed defender with great feet. Competitive kid. Philly demeanor. Good instincts.”

Despite those quick feet, he was never a “tough nosed defender” at UK — one reason both Immanuel Quickley and Ashton Hagans are ahead of him and his playing time dropped dramatically the last two games. He’s also not freakishly athletic like Diallo, Hagans or some other players Calipari has had.

Here is what DraftExpress.com listed as the down side for Green before he got to UK:

“Struggles to finish vs size and length. Average shooter off the catch and bounce. Doesn’t create a ton of separation off the bounce. Not a guy who’s going to elevate while closely guarded and make a lot of contested jumpers. A bit more turnover prone than you’d like for a floor general type. Size limits his ability to pass over the top of the defense.”

Yet for a team that has struggled to make 3-point shots this year, Green is hitting 42.3 percent from 3-point range (11 of 26). Tyler Herro is 12 of 44, 27.3 percent. Quickly is at 28.6 percent — 6-for-21. Hagans has made one of seven 3’s and defenses just back off him. Keldon Johnson is 8-for-25, 32 percent.  

No matter what he couldn’t do, Green could hit a 3-pointer and not having that might just be a bigger loss for this team than many realize today.

6 comments

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  1. Experience at the guard position seems to always be an important part of Championship contenders. Yes, Green struggled sometimes on defense, but there is not a player on this team that does not. Yes, Green did have some turnovers when he was trying to pass over taller players, but he is no where near the reason this team turns the ball over so much.
    Does Green need to improve in some areas? Yes, but name a player on this team that does not.
    There are a lot of players that are not super athletic but are fantastic ball players because they use their experience, heart, and brain.
    I think UK will miss Green a lot. His experience could have been invaluable when they run up on teams that really like press and play pressure defense. Now, there is not a guard on this team that has been through the SEC schedule; nor played a road game in the SEC.
    I really disagree with how Cal has used this young man. I am not sure he is NBA caliber, but there are a lot of very good players that don’t make it to the NBA.

  2. Green’s problem was that he is not one of the new group of over hyped freshmen. In the Calipari world, he is a known failure because he did not migrate to the NBA after one year. The new group always get priority in the Calipari system for playing time over the 2nd year failure.

    Green was this team’s best 3 point shooter on a team that has been struggling to find 3 point baskets.

    I am so tired of Calipari’s “Players First” mantra.

  3. I’ve got another reason for disappointment about QuadeGreen.
    I was introduced to UK BB when Frank Ramsey and Cliff Hagan both took me into the teams section to talk to me about my signing with my deaf father who was the Coach at the Kentucky for the Deaf. They gave me everybody’s autograph as well as Bill Spivey and Coach Rupp.
    I went on to be an Ear, Nose and Throat physician and my paper and presentation to get my Masters Degree was Education of the Deaf and I implored the staff there to do cochlear implants in children not just adults as had been the practice up until that point. The staff said they would start doing cochlear implants in children. From that point on children were getting cochlear implants and I was so pleased that a Kentucky Basketball Player would have cochlear implants and play with the normal hearing players. That player was Quade Green. Now I am as disappointed in Calipari as I was with Charlie Bradshaw. I hope Green goes on and becomes an All American and wins the NCAA with Villanova or Syracuse.
    Thanks Larry Vaught for providing me a forum to vent.

    1. Claude, I kept hoping there would be a way for KSD students to maybe have some interaction with Quade but it never happened. Would have been a great move for UK

      1. Seems like that would have been at least as important as washing feet in The Bahamas

  4. You can’t miss a guy who was only playing 9 minutes.

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