LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley will enter the NBA draft and sign with an agent, leaving school after a breakout season in which he was an honorable mention All-America selection by The Associated Press.
Southeastern Conference coaches voted the 6-foot-3 sophomore Player of the Year after he wasn’t picked for any preseason all-conference teams. Quickley averaged a team-high 16.1 points per game last season with double-figure efforts in his final 20 contests. The AP’s first team All-SEC selection also grabbed 4.2 rebounds per game while leading the Wildcats to the league’s regular season championship.
The Havre de Grace, Maryland, native said in a release Monday he was “saddened” Kentucky wasn’t able to compete for a national championship because of “circumstances beyond our control.” Quickley added that he decided to turn pro after praying and talking with his family.
Kentucky coach John Calipari had touted Quickley’s improvement and potential since last fall and said in the release, “There’s no question in my mind that his growth in the NBA will be on the same path that it was here, which is steep.”
Quickley is the third Kentucky underclassman to turn pro. Sophomore Ashton Hagans and freshman Tyrese Maxey announced last week they will enter the draft.