Kentucky guards helped UK to wins at Georgia and against Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – For the second time this season the Kentucky men’s basketball team swept the Southeastern Conference weekly awards following wins against Georgia and Alabama. Sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley was named the player of the week and freshman guard Tyrese Maxey was selected as the freshman of the week on Monday.
Quickley averaged 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game while making 8 of 9 attempts from long range. Maxey added 15.0 points, 5.5 boards, 4.5 assists and 2.0 blocks per game in the two wins.
It’s Quickley’s first career SEC honor and Maxey’s third. Maxey won the season’s first SEC Freshman of the Week award after scoring 26 points in the victory over then-No. 1 Michigan State in Madison Square Garden in early November, his college debut, and then also corralled the honor after a 27-point outing in the overtime win against then-No. 3 Louisville. Junior Nick Richards has also been tabbed the SEC Player of the Week this season following the win against the Cardinals.
Kentucky has dominated the weekly SEC awards under Calipari. UK has won more weekly SEC honors (105) than any other school during the Calipari era, including 83 SEC Freshman of the Week honors and 22 SEC Player of the Week awards.
Quickley, serving as UK’s sixth man, was the team’s leading scorer in the two victories, pouring in 15 points at Georgia and charting a game-high 19 against Alabama. He was an efficient 11 of 20 (.550) from the field and a sizzling 8 of 9 (.889) from long range.
With the game against the Crimson Tide hanging in the balance, 71-67, he drained his career-high fifth 3-pointer of the game and then sunk a pair of foul shots in the final minute to seal UK’s fourth straight win. His second 3-pointer of the game at Georgia, gave UK its first lead of the second half at 58-57 with 8:08 to play. Kentucky led the rest of the way.
Prior to a miss with the shot clock winding down and being forced into an attempt, Quickley had made eight straight 3-pointers over a three-game stretch. During UK’s four-game winning streak, Quickley is averaging a team-best 18.8 points per game. He’s made 14 of 23 (.609) from 3-point range.
Quickley has made 11 of his last 12 3-pointers and leads the Wildcats in 3-point percentage (41.9%), total 3s (26) and ranks fifth in the nation in free-throw percentage (81.4%).
Maxey was second on the team in scoring with 15.0 points per game during the 2-0 week. He logged a game-high-tying 17 points in his first collegiate road game at Georgia. He also added career highs in assists (eight) and blocks (four) to showcase his all-around effort.
Against Alabama, Maxey scored 13 points to reach double-digit scoring for the fifth time in the last six games and the 10th time on the season.
Maxey has been instrumental during UK’s four-game winning streak. He’s averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 boards and 3.3 assists per game.
The Wildcats return to action on Wednesday at South Carolina. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network.
Kentucky is off to a 3-0 start in the SEC for the fifth time under Calipari.