John Calipari has had no trouble finding and developing next-level point guards.
Seemingly everywhere he’s been, he’s always had a standout playmaker at that position. You know the names: Derrick Rose, John Wall, Tyler Ulis, DeAaron Fox, and so on.
That begs the question: Is 5-star freshman Quade Green next in line?
Green’s potential is clear, but it remains to be seen whether he can reach the heights of those names that came before him.
The Philadelphia native will be thrown in the mix right away as Kentucky’s primary ball-hander, and how he handles that role on Calipari’s most inexperienced team yet will go a long way towards determining where the Wildcats are Final Four material.
Inside the Numbers
Green is a Top 25 player in the 2017 recruiting class and is certainly among the best point guards in the group.
He won four state championships at Neumann-Goretti High School in Philadelphia and developed his overall game nicely each year.
And for those who want to compare, Green will be expected to be the guy that pushes the tempo like Fox did a season ago.
Here are Fox’s numbers last year:
- 16.7 points per game
- 4.0 rebounds per game
- 4.6 assists per game
It’s unlikely that Green will be needed to score that many points, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him surpass that assist mark given his tremendous passing ability.
Green is already drawing comparisons to Ulis due to his size and playing style.
Considering that Ulis was fantastic in his final season in Lexington – 17 points and seven assists per game during the ’15-16 season – that’s good company to be in if you’re Green.
As mentioned above, because this is Calipari’s youngest and most inexperienced team yet, a consistent floor general will be needed if the Wildcats want to be playing late in March.
And all indications are that Green has the tools needed to be that guy. He won’t need to score 20 points a game for this Kentucky team to be successful, but he will need to be in complete control on the offensive end of the floor and get everyone where they need to be.
If he and fellow freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can do just that and take care of the ball in a conference filled with talented guards, it’ll help the Wildcats build chemistry for the long haul.
Green doesn’t have to be Ulis or Fox to leave his mark on this team.
All he has to do is be a rock that Calipari can count in when this young team finds itself in close games against improved SEC competition.