Assessing Nick Richards, Immanuel Quickley, and Terrence Shannon Jr.

January 26th, 2020

by Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch Kentucky play against Texas Tech, as this featured plenty of prospects that could be taken in the first round of the 2020 draft such as Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, and Jahmi’us Ramsey.  Despite this being an entertaining game that went to overtime, neither team shot seemed to shoot or take care of the ball especially well in this game. Still, Kentucky was able to get a narrow victory over Texas Tech, and the standout performers looked to be Nick Richards, Immanuel Quickley, Chris Clarke, and Terrence Shannon Jr.   Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Nick Richards had a tremendous showing for Kentucky in his team's win over Texas Tech, and could potentially be a first round pick in 2020.  (Photo: John E. Moore III/Getty Images, via Los Angeles Times.)
Kentucky’s junior center, Nick Richards played very well in his team’s overtime victory over Texas Tech. (Photo: John E. Moore III/Getty Images, via Los Angeles Times.)

Kentucky’s 6-11 junior center, Nick Richards played very well in his team’s overtime win over Texas Tech. He showed off solid inside scoring, rebounding, and defensive skills, as he scored 25 points, and notched 14 rebounds and 4 blocks in this game.

Richards did a great job of scoring on hustle plays. He would run the floor to score on put back dunks as well as on a jam on the break, and he also caught a lob pass to score on an alley-oop dunk off of a cut. He also would draw numerous free throws, as he can use off-ball motion plays to get open.

He also showed off decent low post scoring skills. He was able to catch a high entry pass and was able to get deep position to score down low while getting an extra free throw early in overtime. Richards also showed a knack for drawing fouls upon his defenders. He did miss on a couple of jump hooks, but he did a very good job of getting to the foul line when his teammates would get him post touches.

Also, Richards did a good job of knocking down open, mid-range jumpers off the catch to keep defenders honest. He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Richards was able to set a good off-ball screen that helped get a teammate open jump shot, which enabled him to score off of that. Richards also did not turn the ball over once on offense.

Plus, Richards did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball.  He would often leap up to collect numerous boards on both ends of the floor, and he also would tend to score off of offensive rebounds to provide his team with second chance points.

He also played decent defense. Richards showed a knack for blocking shots, as he would swat them off of drives, off of a cut, and in the post to help his team protect the paint due to possessing good length, athleticism, and instincts. He also would contest mid-range jumpers and shots off the dribble to force misses, and he also successfully drew a charge on a drive once. However, he had some trouble defending quicker opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. He also once bit on a pump fake wildly, which led him to allow a score in the post another time.

In general, Nick Richards had a strong showing in his team’s win over Texas Tech, as he made a lot of high motor plays, and he excelled at making them on both ends of the floor. Right now, he is an athletic, energetic big man that projects to be a second round prospect, as he could end up being a solid role player in the NBA.

Kentucky's sophomore point guard, Immanuel Quickley had a solid showing in his team's overtime win over Texas Tech.   (Photo: John E. Moore III/Getty Images, via 12up.)
Kentucky’s sophomore point guard, Immanuel Quickley had a solid showing in his team’s overtime win over Texas Tech. (Photo: John E. Moore III/Getty Images, via 12up.)

Kentucky’s sophomore point guard, Immanuel Quickley also put forth a solid performance in his team’s win over Texas Tech. He excelled as a shooter, scorer, and defender in this game, and while he committed too many turnovers in the second half, he did a good job of making plays to put his team in position to win the game, as they did so over Texas Tech in overtime.

Quickley did a very good job of knocking down spot-up threes to provide floor spacing for his team. He would tend to make long-range jumpers whenever he would have the time and space to operate, and he also ran off of a ball screen to make a deep three heave to beat the buzzer towards the end of the first half.

Plus, he also showed an adequate ability to get scores off the dribble. Quickley would sometimes score on quick, crafty floaters, as he can make them using either hand, and he also drove in to score on a nice, two-handed dunk in transition once. Plus, he also showed a good ability to draw fouls upon his defenders. Sometimes though, he would struggle to score in traffic, and he also had a couple of his shots blocked in this game.

However, he was quite turnover prone on offense. For the positives, Quickley would look to find the open man, and he also can find cutters to set up scoring opportunities for his teammates. On the downside, he also committed plenty of ball-handling turnovers, as he was called for traveling twice, and for a carrying violation another time, and he also committed a charging foul on a separate play where he could’ve scored on a floater had that call not been made.

Quickley also did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He was able to chase down a ball to get an offensive board, and he also would tend to leap up to collect defensive boards to help his team on the glass.

Also, he played decent defense in this game. Quickley did a good job of contesting jump shots to force misses, and he was able to block a long two-point shot due to possessing good athleticism, instincts, and timing to do so. He also managed to intercept a pass to get a steal. However, he can sometimes be undisciplined defensively. He bit on a pump fake on a cut once, which led him to allow a score, and he also fouled a shooter on a three-point shot another time. On a separate play, he got beat on a drive, which led to a pass to a cutter where his team allowed a score around the basket.

In summary, Immanuel Quickley played well in his team’s overtime win over Texas Tech. He excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor. He did commit a slew of turnovers in the second half, but his penchant for shooting, scoring, and making sound defensive plays enabled him to be one of the best players on the floor in this game. Right now, he projects to be a second round prospect. He will need to improve his playmaking skills and cut down on the mental mistakes he is prone to making with the ball in his hands, but he’s a good athlete that can shoot and defend, which could enable him to thrive as a role player at the next level.

Texas Tech's freshman swingman, Terrence Shannon Jr. made some good plays in his team's overtime loss to Kentucky.  (Photo: Michael C. Johnson/USA TODAY Sports, via Caller Times)
Texas Tech’s freshman swingman, Terrence Shannon Jr. made some good plays in his team’s overtime loss to Kentucky. (Photo: Michael C. Johnson/USA TODAY Sports, via Caller Times)

Texas Tech’s 6-6 freshman swingman, Terrence Shannon Jr. had a fairly good game in his team’s loss to Kentucky. In a game that had plenty of first round prospects, Shannon looked to be the best athlete on the floor, and he showed a solid ability to score and defend in this contest.

Shannon showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays. He was able to sneak behind the defense early on to get an easy score around the basket, and he also drove in transition to score on a thunderous dunk on the break. He also can draw fouls upon his opponents when taking it to the rim, but he also missed an off-balanced, acrobatic layup off of another cut later on.

He also did a good job of scoring on aggressive drives to the basket. Shannon was able to go to his right to get a quick score off the glass, and he also showed a knack for drawing fouls upon his opponents. Late in the game though, E.J. Montgomery made a good defensive play on him, as he forced Shannon to go to his right, which caused him to miss on a contested floater late in this match.

He also struggled to make jumpers consistently. Shannon was able to make an open, mid-range jumper off the dribble, but he also missed on two open three-point shots. He also committed a charging foul on a baseline drive when given ample space to shoot the basketball, and Shannon generally struggled to make plays when opponents would dare him to take wide-open jumpers, especially from beyond the arc.

He also was able to get his fair share of boards, and he was especially active at crashing the offensive glass. He would chase down balls to get offensive rebounds, and he also boxed out his man to get a defensive board on a separate play.

He also played good defense. Shannon was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also defended well in the post. Plus, he also successfully drew a charge when defending on a drive due to being in good position to do so. He did get beat on a hesitation move when guarding a quicker player off the dribble once, which caused him to commit a foul on a drive that time.

Overall, Terrence Shannon Jr. is a very athletic swingman that could project to be a defensive specialist at the next level. He will need to improve his jump shot and ability to facilitate and pass the basketball, but his elite physical tools combined with his motor and upside could enable him to be a second round pick in the 2020 draft.

Texas Tech’s 6-6 redshirt senior swingman, Chris Clarke played fairly well in his team’s overtime loss to Kentucky. Though he didn’t look to score too often, he excelled at distributing and rebounding the basketball, and he also did a good job of scoring off the dribble in this game.

Clarke would tend to score and draw free throws on patient drives to the hoop. Though he usually would hesitate before deciding to look to score, he would slowly maneuver his way in the paint to garner scores, and he also was able to make a pull-up, mid-range jumper. He also managed to draw free throws on a put back, as he’ll crash the offensive glass to get rebounds. On the other hand, Clarke did not look to score often, as he did not take many shots, and he did not attempt a single three-point shot from beyond the arc.

Also, Clarke displayed solid playmaking skills. He would tend to throw sharp interior passes, as he can find cutters and teammates around the basket to set up scores for them, and he also would set good screens to help get teammates open looks to score on jump shots. He did throw a ball away that sailed out of bounds once. In general though, Clarke did a good job of passing the basketball and setting screens for his teammates.

Plus, Clarke did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He would tend to leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would bring the ball up after getting defensive rebounds for his team. Defensively, he looked to be about average. For the positives, he was able to contest a floater off of a curl cut to force a miss, and he also was able to block a shot to force a miss. Plus, he will look to play passing lanes to try to help his team get deflections. However, he had a tendency to sag off his man and over-help in the paint, which would cause him to allow opponents to score on open jumpers.

Overall, Clarke had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Kentucky. He displayed a good set of all-around skills, and he is a tall, skilled point forward that can help his team in a variety of ways. In the meantime, he will need to be more aggressive in looking for his shot on offense and in taking long-range jumpers. Right now, he may be a borderline second round prospect. If he can improve upon his weaknesses, he could end up making his way as a versatile role player off the bench for a team in the NBA.

Kentucky’s sophomore point guard, Ashton Hagans also had an adequate showing in his team’s win over Texas Tech. Though he struggled to make shots consistently, he dished out numerous assists to demonstrate his solid facilitation skills, and he also played very good defense when he was on the court.

Hagans was able to score on a couple of speedy, aggressive left-handed drives to the hoop, as this included a high-flying, two-handed dunk. He also drove right to draw free throws on a floater in traffic. However, he also would miss on rushed, off-balanced shots around the basket, and he also had trouble scoring on drives on the break, and he also was unable to make long two-point shots of the dribble. In addition, he also did not attempt a three from beyond the arc.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills. Hagans is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, and he would throw accurate interior passes to set up scores for his teammates. He was able to throw a crisp lob pass to a cutter to notch an assist, and he also is a good passer off the dribble. He can aptly find teammates on the move, as he possesses good court vision. However, he also committed a slew of ball-handling turnovers due to carelessness, and he also would throw hasty passes that would get intercepted.

Hagans was able to chip in to get a few defensive rebounds, as he would tend to push the ball up the floor after leaping up to get them.

Plus, he also played solid defense. Hagans is a pesky defender that would absolutely hound opposing ball handlers, as he would get his hands on passes to nab steals and deflections, and he also jumped on a loose ball that an opponent dropped to collect another. Plus, he also would poke balls away to make it difficult for his opponents to handle the basketball, and he also would actively contest threes to force misses. He also was able to cut off penetration, as he would poke balls away from his man, as he was able to force a shot clock violation. Every once in a while though, he would commit fouls when guarding opposing ball handlers due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Ashton Hagans played very good defense, and he was able to notch plenty of assists, even though he didn’t really shoot the ball well. He still had an impact on the outcome of the game due to his strong playmaking and defensive skills, and while he will need to improve his jump shot, his elite athleticism and very good ability to guard opponents could enable him to be a first round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Texas Tech’s 6-4 sophomore guard, Kyler Edwards shot the ball well, as he mostly excelled as a shooter and scorer for his team in their overtime loss to Kentucky. He showed a knack for making spot-up threes and pull-up jumpers from the mid-range, and he also showed a good ability to score on drives to the basket. He also was able to use a pump fake off of a curl cut in order to draw free throws on a layup.

Edwards also displayed adequate playmaking skills. He also passed the ball well as he threw solid interior passes off the dribble to set up scores for his teammates. He did commit a couple of careless turnovers, as he would occasionally struggle to protect the basketball, and he threw hasty pass that got picked off another time.

He also played fairly good defense. Edwards was able to block a shot off of a drive from behind due to possessing good timing and above average athletic gifts to get a stop for his team.

Overall, Kyler Edwards is a skilled combo guard that can put up points in a hurry, and he was able to score early and often in regulation. He didn’t really seem to score as much in overtime, though. Right now, he has not drawn much draft buzz, but he could be a second round pick in the future, and he is a player that could project to be a microwave type of scorer in the NBA.

Texas Tech was able to force their way into overtime mostly due to 6-2 junior guard, Davide Moretti’s strong performance late in the second half.  He is a skilled scorer who doesn’t seem to possess overwhelming size or athleticism, but he just found ways to score the basketball.

He did a good job of getting scores off the dribble. Moretti would score on crafty floaters, and he also showed a knack for contorting his body to draw fouls when he would look to score off the dribble. Plus, he also made a spot-up three off the catch, and he also managed to draw three free throws after flailing into a defender another time. Plus, he also used a pump fake to score off of a backdoor cut. Though he struggled to make jumpers consistently, and noticeably struggled to make pull-up, mid-range jumpers, Moretti’s ability to score in a variety of ways, combined with his strong ability to draw and make free throws enabled to help Texas Tech get back in this game.

He also displayed average playmaking skills. Moretti showed a solid ability to throw interior passes off the dribble, as he possesses fairly good court vision. However, he also committed a slew of careless turnovers, as he would struggle to protect the basketball, and he also would throw inaccurate passes that would go astray. Defensively, he looked to be about average. He was able to successfully draw a charge on a drive to get a stop for his team. On the downside, he had some trouble guarding quicker players off the dribble, and he also was called for a blocking foul when defending an alley-oop layup in transition another time.

Overall, Moretti had an adequate showing in his team’s overtime loss to Kentucky. In an otherwise underwhelming game, Moretti was tenacious in trying to lead the comeback charge in his team’s attempt to try to rally back in this game. He made big shots down the stretch in the second half, and he also would tend to put himself in good position to try to get stops defensively. Right now, he may be a borderline second round prospect. He is a crafty player that seems to have a good feel for the game, and he is a skilled player that can make plays on both ends of the floor, but his lack of ideal physical tools may limit his upside for the next level. Still, he is a skilled, versatile combo guard that can score the basketball, and he could project to be a back end of the rotation type of player for an NBA team if things break his way.

Other Notes:

Texas Tech’s 7-0 freshman center, Russel Tchewa played well in limited minutes in his team’s loss to Kentucky, as he especially excelled late in the first half of this game. He was able to rotate to block a shot off of a drive, and he also made an open long two-point shot from just inside the arc. Tchewa also scored on a reverse layup after getting the ball in the post another time. He did miss on a jump hook, and later got called for a minor touch foul after an opponent appeared to lose the ball on the way up off of a drive, but overall, Tchewa excelled at making shots efficiently, and blocking shots. He also would set screens and roll off of them.

In general, Tchewa is a strong, mobile big man that can make mid-range jumpers, score in the post, and block shots, and he will run the floor hard. He is an intriguing long-term prospect for Texas Tech, and he could be a second round prospect for the 2021 draft, as he could project to be a rotational, defensive-minded center in the NBA.

Kentucky’s 6-9 redshirt senior forward, Nate Sestina played fairly well in his team’s win over Texas Tech. He excelled at knocking down jumpers, as he would make open spot-up threes, and he also can make them off of pick and pop plays. He also used a pump fake to calmly make a long two-point shot off the dribble. He also managed to intercept a pass to get a steal.  

However, he also committed a couple of turnovers due to carelessness, and he also struggled to defend quicker players, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. Overall, Sestina is a skilled combo forward that can shoot the basketball, but he will need to improve his defensive skills. Right now, he may have the skills to make an NBA team’s summer league roster, as his ability to knock down jumpers could allow him to compete for a roster spot at the next level.

Texas Tech’s 6-8 redshirt senior forward, T.J. Holyfield excelled at scoring on hustle plays, and he also did a decent job of rebounding and defending in the paint in this game. He would score on put backs and rolls to the rim, and he especially was active at crashing the offensive glass to get boards for his team.

Defensively, he looked to be above average. He was able to block a shot off of a drive in transition, and he also successfully drew a charge when defending a drive due to good positioning. However, he also committed a foul off the bell when defending in the post, and he eventually fouled out of this match.

Overall, Holyfield is a strong, mobile combo forward that can make high-motor plays on both ends of the floor, and while he will need to improve his jump shot and expand upon his skill set offensively, he could end up making an NBA team’s summer league roster in 2020 or sometime down the road.

Texas Tech’s freshman guard, Jahmi’us Ramsey struggled in his team’s loss to Kentucky. He had some good scores in the paint, but he had trouble making shots consistently, and he especially struggled to knock down jumpers.

Ramsey did a good job of scoring on hustle plays. He was able to score on an aggressive drive in transition early on, as he was also able to get the extra free throw afterwards. He also managed to score on a backdoor cut to the hoop.

He also was able to make a pull-up, mid-range jumper from the right elbow. However, he had trouble consistently scoring off the dribble, as he had trouble scoring in traffic, and he also missed a dunk once. He also tended to have his mid-range jumpers blocked when pulling up to take them. Ramsey also attempted to take a couple of threes, but he missed them both times.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills. Ramsey is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he can pass off the dribble to set up scoring chances for his teammates. He also was able to find a cutter to set up a scoring opportunity once. However, he also threw a hasty pass that wound up getting intercepted, as that led him to commit a turnover that time.

Ramsey did not grab a single rebound in this game. He did play adequate defense, though.   He was able to jump on a loose ball that an opposing ball handler dropped to get a steal, and he also got his hands on a pass to collect another one. Ramsey was very active in the passing lanes, as that enabled him to force a handful of turnovers. However, he also rotated to foul an opponent off of a cut, as he can be foul prone at times on the defensive end.

Overall, Ramsey did not have his best game, as he struggled to make shots consistently, and he did not appear to be the shooter that he was advertised as being in this contest against Kentucky. He did make some good passes and defensive plays, though. Right now, he is a second round prospect for the 2020 draft. He will need to be a more consistent player in games, as he will need to make more shots efficiently against upper echelon teams, and he will have to show that he can effectively run the point when called upon to do so. Right now, he may still have ways to go as a player for the next level, but he is an athletic combo guard that could project into a microwave type of scorer similar to former veteran guard, Jordan Crawford in the NBA.

Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey did not play well, either, and he did not shoot the ball well, take care of the basketball, or consistently defend well in his team’s overtime win over Texas Tech.

Maxey had some good scores off the dribble, as he can score on quick, aggressive drives to the basket, but he struggled to consistently make shots in this game. He has a fairly good first step to the hoop, as he was able to get a strong score on a drive in transition while getting the extra free throw, and he also used a spin move to score on a floater another time. Maxey also showed a decent ability to draw fouls upon his defenders. However, he tended to miss on quick, rushed floaters, as he would often miss shots in traffic. He also was unable to make any of his pull-up jumpers, as he would take tough, contested shots, and he displayed spotty shot selection in this game.

He also displayed average at best playmaking skills. For the positives, Maxey is a speedy, fleet-footed player that can quickly get into the lane, and can kick balls out to shooters to set up scores for them. However, he tended to throw hasty, inaccurate passes that would go astray, and he also was prone to committing charging fouls when taking it to the rim. He also dropped a catchable pass out of bounds another time, as he tried to catch the ball with one hand on that play.

Maxey was able to get his fair share of boards, as he was able to get a rebound on each end of the floor, and he also would sometimes bring the ball up the floor after getting defensive rebounds.

Defensively, he looked to be about average. For Maxey, this may have been the thing he did best in this game against Texas Tech. He managed to block a pull-up, mid-range jumper to get a stop for his team, and he also would actively contest jumpers to force misses. However, he would sometimes struggle to defend drives, which would cause him to commit fouls, and he also committed a blocking foul after trying to flop on that play. He also had trouble defending on cuts, as he would be prone to lapses, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Maxey did not have his best game, as he struggled to consistently make shots, and he also struggled to limit his turnovers on offense. It was frustrating to watch him play in this game against Texas Tech, because he’s so talented as a prospect, and is considered by many to potentially go in the lottery, yet he wasn’t able to string together many good plays when he was on the floor. Still, when he plays well, he’s able to show that he may have considerable upside as a prospect for the NBA.

As of a right now, Maxey is a very athletic combo guard that can score the basketball, but can be too inconsistent in games, and will need to improve his ability to run the point, but Maxey could project to be a player in a team’s rotation similar to current Houston Rockets guard, Austin Rivers in the association.