Immanuel Quickley took the SEC by storm this year. While he played a smaller role on the 2018-19 Kentucky Wildcats team, he became the star of the 2019-20 team. Quickley has plenty of talent and he finally had the chance to showcase that this year. That freedom worked wonders for his draft stock.
Immanuel Quickley 2020 NBA Draft Profile
Quickley is a 6’3 guard out of Maryland. He entered the NCAA as a lights out shooter but quickly became so much more. Quickley’s freshman season did not go as planned, mainly due to a lack of playing time. He only played 18 minutes per game but was effective as a long-range shooter. In year two, Quickley molded his game into an all-around player. He averaged 16.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game this season. Offensively, Kentucky did not have a ton, especially in the backcourt, so Quickley’s numbers are impressive.
Quickley was awarded the SEC Player of the Year this season, beating out his teammate Nick Richards. He was the key player on a good team that was ready for March Madness. Realistically, without Quickley, Kentucky is a double-digit loss team with almost no chance to advance in the tournament.
Quickley has a great shooting ability. The free throw line is a helpful diagnostic to at least analyze shooting form and Quickley was 92 percent this year which is good enough to be one of the best in the nation. Therefore, he clearly has good form. From three, Quickley shot 43 percent from three on nearly five attempts per game this year. There was no shooting on this Wildcats team beyond Tyrese Maxey’s occasional hot game. Quickley’s shots always felt like they came in big moments also.
The second thing that jumps off the screen with Quickley is his athleticism. He can flat out fly. He has a skinny frame but is long and fast which makes him a nightmare to contain. Unfortunately, he did not utilize his natural tools enough, but they are at least there to be improved. Speed kills and Quickley has plenty of it.
Finally, for a 6’3 skinny guard on a team with good forwards, Quickley averaged 4.2 rebounds. Those numbers are very impressive, especially considering he only played about 30 minutes per game. That will translate well in the NBA and help him earn a spot in the rotation.
Immanuel Quickley is one of the rare people that shot worse from two than he did from three. He is a great three-point shooter so it is a bit less concerning but still strange. He can struggle to finish around the rim and appears uncomfortable at times in the midrange. Luckily, the midrange is fading in the NBA game, but it has proven to be wildly effective for those that use it. Quickley would be wise to develop his game inside the three-point line.
Another concern is more of a question mark. Quickley mainly played the two-guard at Kentucky because he had Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey to be the primary ball-handlers. He also averaged less than two assists per game for his career. Having the ball in his hands often, especially this year, should have seen those assist numbers significantly higher. Quickley has to make plays for others so he can play both guard positions in the NBA.
Finally, Quickley was not a great defender. He has all the tools to be an impact defender, but his defensive box-plus-minus was only 1.1 this season which is below average. When Quickley locks in, he is outstanding. He must take pride in his defense because it will be the key to getting him on the court early in his career.
NBA Player Comparison
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Pope is a better defender. However, both are great shooters off the catch and can space the floor. They also can win off the bounce but are less comfortable doing so. Much like Pope, there will be a spot for Quickley on an NBA team.
NBA Draft Projection
Mid second round.
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