Immanuel Quickley named SEC player of the week

Kentucky's Immanuel Quickley (5) shoots near teammate Nick Richards (4) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. Kentucky won 67-62. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After back-to-back 20-point games in victories over LSU and Florida last week, Kentucky men’s basketball sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

UK owns a two-game lead in the SEC standings with four regular-season games remaining and Quickley’s recently play is a big reason for the cushion. He averaged 23.5 points and induced a career-high three steals in both victories last week.

Monday’s honor is the second of the season for Quickley, who has produced clutch moments all season long for the Wildcats.

Kentucky has dominated the weekly SEC awards under John Calipari. UK has won more weekly SEC honors (107) than any other school during the Calipari era, including 83 SEC Freshman of the Week honors and 24 SEC Player of the Week awards.

The sophomore guard began the week by helping UK to a 79-76 win in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Quickley scored 21 points and added five assists, four rebounds and three steals. The Havre de Grace, Maryland, native was 5 of 5 from the floor in the second half as the Wildcats shot a season-high 73.8% during the second half.

Quickley then scored a career-high 26 points in the win over the Gators – and UK needed every one of them. He scored 20 of 28 points once the Wildcats trailed 40-33 and also added 17 of 19 during a decisive second-half surge. Twenty-two of his 26 points came after intermission. He made four 3-pointers and also contributed a trio of swipes.

During the second half of this week’s victories, Quickley averaged 18.0 points per game and shot 75% from the field and 71.4% from 3-point range with five 3’s.

For the season, Quickley is averaging a team-high 15.7 points per game. He’s scored in double digits in 16 straight games, the longest streak for a UK player since Malik Monk had 30 straight such games in 2016-17. Quickley has topped double-figures in 22 of 26 games he’s played this season and boasted 20 or more in seven games.

Since his double-figure scoring streak began against Louisville, Quickley is averaging 18.5 points per game to go along with 4.3 rebounds and 37 3-pointers while shooting 45.1% from long range.