By LARRY VAUGHT
In Kentucky’s last three games — all wins — sophomore point guard Immanuel Quickley has 56 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and even one blocked shot.
His scoring — and clutch 3-point shooting (9-for-17) — in those three games has got a lot of attention. But what about his defense? Remember the job he did against 6-7 Jordon Nwora, Louisville’s leading scorer. He was also very effective in the win at Georgia Tuesday.
“He’s really bothering people and making it difficult,” Calipari said Friday. “That’s what a good defender does.”
He could have to do that again today when UK plays Alabama, a perimeter oriented team who has scored at a torrid pace in recent games and leads the SEC in scoring.
“Another guy who looks like all this and stands in front of the guy and the guy feels nothing by him being guarded. Immanuel occupies the guy’s eyes. You gotta worry about where Immanuel is,” Calipari said.
“Obviously, we know where Ashton (Hagans) is and Tyrese (Maxey) is a pretty good defender.”
Yes Maxey is. But Calipari noted Friday that Maxey is doing a lot of things to impress many.
“People, what they loved, the people (NBA scouts) that evaluate, they loved that he (Maxey) had eight assists, seven rebounds and four blocks (in the win at Georgia),” Calipari said.
“They said, ‘That’s a winner. That’s how you win basketball games.’ And, that’s who everybody wants on their team. That’s a Jamal Murray number, and, you know, he did well.”