By LARRY VAUGHT
What would a three-guard lineup of Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Maxey look like at Kentucky this season?
Many Kentucky fans are already envisioning that exact scenario — and apparently so are the players.
“I think we are three different guards. Ashton is very good defensively which makes Immanuel and I better at practice since he’s going at us,” Maxey, a freshman, said after the Blue-White Game. “Immanuel is a really good shooter and really good scorer in transition. He really proved that today.
“I’m a balance of a little bit of everything. I play pretty good defense sometimes. I can score in transition and give my teammates the ball. Overall, it felt great. We go at each other at practice and make each other better. It feels good to see each other shine and do well.”
You have to admire Maxey’s honestly about his good defense “sometimes.” Not every player would admit that.
Quickley, a sophomore, certainly is on board with the three-guard lineup.
“Absolutely. With myself, Ashton and Tyrese, even though we’re all quote-un- quote, point guards, I don’t think that a label means how we play together because at the end of the day we’re all basketball players and we’re very versatile so you don’t lose anything,” Quickley said.
“Especially with Ashton and Tyrese, they’re really good on defense. Ashton’s Defensive Player of the Year for the SEC and so we aren’t losing anything on the defensive end. On offense you have a lot more space.”
Maxey said his biggest improvement since arriving at UK has been learning to get his teammates more involved and becoming “a really good lead guard” for Calipari.
“Coach KP (Kenny Payne) and Coach Cal have been really on me about getting my teammates involved, getting into the lane and getting assists,” Maxey said. “They want me to get other people going because I can score. That’s really the biggest improvement I’ve made.”