Quade Green — UK’s point guard of the future — stood in the corner and caught a pass from fellow Wildcats signee Nick Richards during Tuesday’s McDonald’s All-American practice.
Green squared up and sank the three-pointer, but it’s not the Philadelphia native’s outside shot that has Coach John Calipari excited.
While the ball was still in the air, Green shouted, “Good pass, Nick!” to his teammate, words of encouragement for the five-star center he’ll share a court with at Kentucky next season.
A little earlier in the practice, another UK commitment — small forward Jarred Vanderbilt — made a nifty move on a defender and nailed a mid-range jumper.
“That was smooth!” Green yelled at him.
A little later in the practice, Richards got the ball on the wing in a one-on-one drill against Mohamed Bamba — one of the best defenders in the country — and showed the slightest hesitation.
“Go to the bucket on him!” Green, standing nearby, yelled at Richards.
Richards did just that, slashing across the lane and scoring with a runner.
“And one!” Green yelled, hopping excitedly. “And one!”
Calipari is not only getting one of the best point guards in the country — and arguably the best passer in the entire 2017 recruiting class — next season. He’s also getting a floor general who brings a bundle of positivity to the basketball court.
“He doesn’t talk down to players,” said PJ Washington, the other UK commitment at this McDonald’s All-American Game. “He’s always trying to pick somebody up and make them better. That’s why everybody likes him. He’s going to be good for us.”
Green — generously listed at 6-1 — doesn’t have the size of other recent Calipari point guards, such as John Wall or Andrew Harrison. He doesn’t have the freakish speed or athleticism of De’Aaron Fox. And he’s not the how-did-he-do-that wizard with a basketball like Tyler Ulis.
But there’s no doubt he’s a leader on the court, and when he…