QUICKLEY'S A CAT: Five-star guard picks UK

T.J. Walker, Basketball Recruiting Analyst
Cats Illustrated

Five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley finally revealed one of recruiting's worst kept secrets-- he's playing his college basketball at Kentucky.

The 6-foot-4, 180-pound point guard hadn't been shy about telling reporters where the Cats stood throughout his recruitment, and on Friday he confirmed that Kentucky was his No. 1 destination.

He becomes John Calipari's first 2018 commitment and the 39th five star to commit to UK since 2009.

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Courtesy of Adidas

Quickley made his final decision on his mother's birthday at a ceremony at John Carroll High School in Bel Air, Md., where Quickley stars on the court and in the classroom.

The No. 10 player in the class of 2018 picked Kentucky over Kansas and Miami (Fla.) and becomes Calipari's first 2018 commit.

Quickley throughout his process hasn't been shy of saying the Cats are his leader. Quickley was able to be coached by Calipari this summer for several weeks as he was named to the USA U19 team that competed in the 2017 FIBA World Cup.

That experience was a large reason why the Cats were able to get a leg up in Quickley's recruitment, although it seemed Kentucky led before the summer, too.

“I think right now, Kentucky is definitely a favorite,” Quickley said back in June. “They’re getting an advantage because I’m getting to know coach Calipari pretty well right now."

Quickley started all seven games for team USA. He averaged 6.7 points, 2.4 assists and 1.7 assists per game. He shot 42 percent from three and didn't miss a free throw in seven games (6-of-6).

One of the most impressive parts of Quickley's USA performance was how versatile of a teammate he was during the summer. Despite being a true pass-first point guard, Quickley was able to play off the ball in long stretches and was equally as efficient and impact. Quickley would be able to play off the ball and catch-and-shoot, penetrated, or rotate over and get back into his point guard role.

Calipari preaches "postion-less" basketball, and it's not clear if the Cats will be returning Quade Green or Shai Alexander to play with Quickley in 2018-2019, but if they do, Quickley will be able to see the floor even if he's not running the show.

In AAU play this summer he played on the adidas AAU circuit for Team BBC, who will be retiring his No. 3 jersey. Quickley averaged 9.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game. His assists and steal averages were second best in the adidas Gauntlet.

One interesting part of Quickley's commitment will be how it may impact other recruits in 2018. Cats Illustrated has been told that Quickley has already been doing a bit of recruiting for Kentucky, and now that he's officially on board you can expect those recruiting efforts to increase.

A big deal this summer was how Zion Williamson and Quickley talked about a package deal and how the two wanted to play with one another. Both came off the package deal talk a bit, but there's no denying there's a friendship between the two that will only help UK's chances with Williamson.

Stay tuned to Cats Illustrated for more Quickley coverage.


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