Is it a travesty Kentucky's Immanuel Quickley is not on NBA Draft Boards?
Updated: Feb 22, 2020
Good question. Yes I am a Kentucky fan and yes some might say I'm a bit biased, but I go by what I see. I've always gone by the eye test in watching basketball, and it has served me well over the years. I'm not a fan of analytics, so I will not be using +/-, PER or any of that crap here. So here it is:
Immaunel Quickley 6'3" sophomore combo guard who plays for Kentucky is averaging 15.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2 assists, 0.8 steals, and 2.2 turnovers per game. He's shooting 40.5 percent from the floor, 39.1 percent from three point range, and 91.2 percent from the free throw line.
Those are the bare bone stats for Quickley. His assists to turnover ratio is 1 to 1, not great but he's not the primary ball handler for Kentucky. Yes he's not a big time thief of taking the basketball away, but he stays in front of his man and makes him take tough shots. The question posed will be answered with some strengths and weaknesses breakdown.
STRENGTHS: Three point shooting, leadership, movement off the ball, two dribble pull ups, drawing fouls, on the ball defense, consistency on both ends of the court. Quickley is one of the best shooters in college basketball with field goal percentage, three point percentage, free throw percentage combination. He's a smart basketball player who has shown he can score from mid range as well with his floater game. He's getting better finishing at the rim, though he does not do that too often. He has also shown lately he has some wiggle off the bounce taking defenders off the dribble. He's the leading scorer for Kentucky which is not something to sneeze at. He protects the basketball very well as he does not get his pocket picked dribbling the basketball.
WEAKNESSES: Lack of strength, running a team from the point position, turnover ratio, average athleticism, left hand dribble and finishing with left hand. The lack of strength may be me being picky because he definitely is wiry strong. He has not run the point guard position at Kentucky on a consistent basis, but he's played the position all his life up to this point. Turnover ratio is 1 to 1 and this goes back to his role at Kentucky playing more off the ball. The average athleticism seems to be the biggest excuse the NBA scouts are using for keeping Quickley off the NBA Draft boards. Keep in mind not every player in the NBA is an athletic marvel, more than a few use their smarts to get by(Lou Williams, James Harden,CJ McCollum to name a few).
The NBA has now become a shooters league with spacing for guys to stand in corners and on perimeter to shoot three point shots. The stupid analytics say a 12 to 18 foot jumper is a bad shot which is ridiculous,(sorry not a fan of analytics) but it's great to be able to score on all three levels. Ok, back to the evaluation, the NBA is full of combo guards masquerading as point guards. I think it is a travesty Immanuel Quickley is not on NBA Draft boards, because his game fits todays NBA to a T. A combo guard who can shoot the college three very well, and it's been shown guys who can hit the college three translate well to the NBA three point line. He can create his own shot off the dribble, can use screens very well to get open for his shot. He shoots well enough to be a standstill three point shooter from the short corners in the Association(NBA). He has shown he can be a shut down defender of point guards, shooting guards by playing solid defense and making the player take a tough shot. I understand the average athleticism argument from NBA scouts, but there are guys on their draft boards that have average athleticism that cannot shoot as well as Quickley. Once again the NBA has become a spacing league to create shots for good three point shooters, which Quickley definitely is. Another thing about Quickley, he has a good atitiude and will be a good locker room guy. He'll put his head down and do the job he is assigned without rocking the boat. The NBA is also a majority rank and file league full of role players. NBA GM's and scouts get with the program, Immanuel Quickley should be draftable prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft(drops mic).