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John Calipari: “They are cheering each other’s success.”

Immanuel Quickley (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

Immanuel Quickley picked up where he left off and turned in another impressive performance for Kentucky Tuesday night as he scored 30 points in a 69-60 win at Texas A&M.

“He shot the ball,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “… He had 30 it’s big and I love it. He made shots. He passed up (a shot for) Nate Sestina at halftime, but other than that (he played great). …

“Here’s what (is) great about this team. When he went into the locker room, they went nuts because he was doing TV after (the game).  That’s the thing about this group. When Nick has come up big, they go crazy. EJ has come up big and they go crazy. They are cheering each other’s successes.”

Quickley connected on eight 3-pointers, also a career-high and dished out two assists.

“He was super hot and fiery,” Kentucky sophomore EJ Montgomery said. “We trust him and he’s going to get better. He’s playing so well and I’m just proud of him. Thirty (points), that’s crazy.”

Kentucky (23-5, 13-2 Southeastern Conference) remained two games ahead of Auburn and LSU in the conference standings with three games remaining in the regular season. The Wildcats have won seven straight games and 15 of their past 17 contests.

Behind the hot hand of Quickley, the Wildcats made 11 3-pointers on 22 attempts against the Aggies.

Tyrese Maxey followed Quickley with 13 points, while Ashton Hagans added 11 for Kentucky. Hagans returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench as a precaution against Florida last weekend. EJ Montgomery just missed a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.

“They were trapping Nick (Richards) and I know I had to step it up because he’s a big (part) of our team and they were trying to stop him and focus on him and so, I had to step it up,” Montgomery said.

“EJ as outstanding,” Calipari added. “That’s as good as I’ve seen EJ play in a while. He really played good.”

Overall, Calipari said the contest “was a great win and a great win for these kids.”

* * *

Gametracker: Auburn at Kentucky, 3:45 p.m. Saturday. TV/Radio: CBS, UK Radio Network.

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

4 comments

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  1. Quick was the man, 30 big ones, with dead eye shooting, and good defense. He made a statement the first 5 min. in. UK looked pretty good to me on defense, on the whole, as a team. From what I saw I also thought Richards got pushed, pulled, grabbed, double and triple teamed, and mugged all night long, but A&M had few fouls called for it. Hard to get the ball to him when the refs let that go on. Yet he gets into foul trouble for seemingly touch fouls and sits for what seemed like a month. EJ played well in his absence. I am looking for some pay back come Sat. the 29th at Rupp when Mr. Pearl and his team arrives. Go get it UK.

  2. Immanuel is on a roll. Kudos to him and to another SEC road win. Nick is fading away. I am not sure this is the formula that will serve us best in the upcoming tourneys, but its the formula that Coach has turned to ever since the Harrison twins came here. Lets see if if brings Final 4 glory like it did then.

    1. Nick fading away? How so? LOL’s!!!! 33 are you Catmandoo and Mike? You never were around when they were, but show up after they departed this blog for good right after Christmas. I think they were all rolled into one poster. You sound just like those two long gone Calipari critics. Cal’s formula seems to be working just fine to me. I am not so much looking for final four glory, I want No. 9.

  3. They looked really good most of the game. Had a few times where they looked sloppy with some unforced turnovers.
    They did improve on getting the ball to the guy with the hot hand and I enjoyed that.
    Nick did his job. He was drawing all the attention inside and got mugged terribly but the refs closed their eyes. Nick even made some good passes out of post when the double and triple would come and didn’t try to force it.
    If Quickley can continue hitting over 40% on 3s, teams will have to try to double him and that will open it up more for others.
    Hagans has got to learn to value the ball. If he can revert to playing like he was before the conference started, I like UK’s chances.

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