basketball Edit

Cats Illustrated Basketball Stock Report

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky's 69-60 win against Texas A&M provides another opportunity to update the season-long Cats Illustrated Basketball Stock Report, which tracks the latest trends, twists, and turns for the team and its individual parts.

Basketball Stock Report
📈 Immanuel Quickley. We had to lead off with him, right? Quickley is playing with all the confidence in the world and while he may return for a junior season, because he seems like a different kind of kid, it's starting to appear increasingly likely that he might be making his farewell tour. He is one of the nation's best players. He's locking up the SEC Player of the Year award.

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Nate Sestina. Since those very important contributions in Kentucky's win at LSU, with three triples and some big plays on both ends of the court, Sestina has failed to duplicate or even approach that level of play. If he's not knocking down three-pointers it's just hard for him to sustain a positive impact on the game. However, in spite of his limitations, nobody has played harder.

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E.J. Montgomery. We are still watching Montgomery turn in uneven statistical performances, with the numbers and the actual play looking a lot better from one night to the next, but his minutes are up, his rebounding on both ends is much better than it was earlier in the season, and his confidence as a scorer and offensive player is at an all-time high. He's even dunking with authority, perhaps a sign of where his head is at.

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Nick Richards. Before anyone gets outraged, these stock reports are momentary snapshots in time and shouldn't be read as predictive or a doomsday reading. It's simply worthwhile to note that Richards has been very quiet over Kentucky's last two games. It's not that Richards has played poorly. It's that his minutes are down, his points are down, and his field goal attempts and overall involvement in the offense is down.

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Late game poise. Kentucky did commit 17 turnovers but the Aggies can do that to an opponent. When the game was "on the line" late, the important thing is the Wildcats did not panic or commit silly mistakes that have jeopardized some previous outcomes. A&M got no closer than seven before Quickley knocked down a couple of big shots late.

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Getting to the line. UK had only attempted three free throws at one point fairly late in the game. The 'Cats finished 10/11 from the line. Against Florida, the 'Cats got the line for just 10 free throws. The good news is this is still one of the nation's best free throw shooting teams: 20/21 over two games is obviously excellent. But this is very down from the number of times UK had been getting to the line for much of the year. When you shoot 11/22 from three-point range that doesn't hurt you as much.

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Hustle stats. Kentucky got to a lot of 50/50 balls against Texas A&M. The 'Cats also had a 14-0 advantage in fast break points and a 13-4 advantage in second chance points.