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Preseason Player Profiles: Quade Green

What can we expect from the Kentucky transfer?

Citi Hoops Classic - Seton Hall vs Kentucky Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images

Quade Green; Sophomore; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

6’0, 170 lbs. Class of 2017: 5 stars, #26 overall (247 Composite)

2018-19 Stats: 18 minutes, 8.0 points, 1.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 44.9% FG, 42.3% 3pt, 89.5% FT

The later commitments of Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels overshadowed it but the transfer-in of Quade Green was technically Coach Hop’s first time securing a 5-star player at Washington. The 6’0 Green was the 26th ranked recruit in the 247 Composite which made him the last player to warrant 5-star status. 4 of the 5 players in front of him were the UCLA duo of Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands plus NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up Trae Young and former UW commit Jontay Porter.

Once at Kentucky, Green split guard duties with fellow 4.5 star freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who quickly took over as the primary point guard and moved Green off the ball before bolting as a lottery pick (and looking like a future NBA all-star). It looked like that would leave Green as the starting point guard but Kentucky then brought in the #1 and #5 PGs in the 2018 class and the #6 SG to challenge him.

After playing fewer than 20 minutes just 3 times in his freshman season Green played just a combined 18 minutes against UNC Greensboro and Seton Hall. He saw the writing on the wall and opted to transfer. The Philadelphia native decided to head cross-country and follow Coach Hopkins to Seattle rather than try to get closer to home (Syracuse was his runner-up when he first committed to Kentucky).

The mid-season transfer meant that Green is required to sit out the first 10 games of the Husky season pending approval of a waiver. We still have not received official word on the status of Green’s waiver but time is running out with the season 10 days away...

Offensive Game

Competing on the Nike EYBL in high school there didn’t appear to be a major flaw in Quade Green’s game. He was a known quantity as a shooter but he improved as a facilitator and led the circuit in assists per game.

His freshman year of college, Green averaged 26 minutes per game as a part-time starter/6th man putting up 9.3 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.6 turnovers on 45.1% FG/37.6% 3pt/80.8% FT shooting. 2 of the closest comparisons for his freshman season in the KenPom player database included Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell and Kansas’s Frank Mason III; the latter of whom went on to win national player of the year.

It seemed like he had picked up where he left off in his 1st four games as a sophomore with averages of 9.5 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.5 turnovers on 42% 3pt shooting that were right in line with if not slightly better than his freshman season. But then in the following 5 games Green’s playing time dropped 6 minutes per game and his 2:1 A to TO ratio turned into a 1:2 ratio. Following an OT loss to Seton Hall in which Green scored 2 points with 0 assists and 3 turnovers he made the decision to transfer.

Ultimately, we’re talking about a 5 game sample size which doomed Green’s time at Kentucky that likely happened after being told he’d need to accept a reduced role. If you exclude those 5 games and average it out to a per 33 minute sample then over 38 games Green averaged: 12.2 points, 3.6 assists, and 2.1 TOs on 38% 3-pt shooting. Here are Crisp’s per game averages from this past season in the same minutes per game: 12.2 points, 2.7 assists, and 2 TOs on 37% 3pt shooting.

If all you do is look at the stats then Green is essentially a better passing, 2 years younger version of David Crisp. That is definitely not a bad thing. If Crisp had been a freshman or sophomore this season instead of a senior I think UW fans would be very happy with that kind of stat line.

Quade Green 2017-19 Kentucky Shot Chart
Synergy Sports

Per Synergy Sports the strengths of Green’s offensive game are his play in transition, as a pick and roll ball handler, and shooting off screens. He ranked better than the 75th percentile nationally in all 3 categories. Last season Jaylen Nowell led the team in points per possession as the P&R ball handler at 0.792. Quade Green averaged 0.906 over his two seasons at Kentucky which suggests we may see a lot more pick and roll with Green on the team.

He also had a 3.8 to 1 A/TO ratio in transition which is a welcome relief for a Husky team that has been sloppy in those situations dating back to before Hopkins’ arrival. Finally, Green is an absurdly good open shot maker. He shot 50% on catch and shoot opportunities without a defender right on him during his freshman season and even better on an incredibly small sample size in season #2. If this Washington offense has enough secondary ball handling talent to allow Green to get wide open looks then he’ll be a devastating shooter. If everything has to come off the dribble then Husky fans will quickly become frustrated.

Defensive Game

Quade Green is very similar in dimensions to David Crisp except with maybe slightly longer arms. Crisp was viewed as one of the clear liabilities in the Husky zone but he ended up being fairly solid in that role, albeit playing alongside Matisse Thybulle to help cover up mistakes. Green will be playing most of his time next to either Jamal Bey or Nahziah Carter and while neither player is Matisse they’re still good defenders.

Quade only played 33 possessions of zone in which his guy ended the possession across his 1.3 seasons at Kentucky according to Synergy Sports. And since we haven’t seen him in a game situation for Washington it means there’s not a lot of evidence as to his effectiveness in a zone. He graded out as a solid man-to-man defender in his freshman season with his best numbers coming against handoffs, screens, and the pick and roll where his agility is more important than his foot speed or wingspan.

It felt like it took David Crisp about a year to fully acclimate to the Husky zone. Green has been in Washington practices for about 10 months but he hasn’t gotten the same game experiences. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect Green to be anything but a below average defender right off the bat but I would think that he’ll get better throughout the course of the season and the rest of his Husky career.

Expectations for 2019-20

There’s obviously the giant caveat in Green’s projections about the number of games he’ll play. When he is eligible I don’t think there’s much debate about what Green’s on court performance will look like. I fully expect him to play starter’s minutes and to be the primary ball handler when he’s on the court. There were concerns about too many turnovers at the end of his Kentucky tenure but given he was better when younger over a larger sample size I’m willing to attribute it to a worse situation.

This Husky team with its orientation towards big men will desperately need shooting and Green is the only player on the roster with anything close to a proven track record in college in that regard. With Carter, McDaniels, and Stewart on the roster there won’t be a big need for Green to be a one-man offense like Jaylen Nowell had to deal with last year. If he can take care of the ball, keep everyone happy with their touches, and knock down 3-pointers when open then he’ll be the critical missing piece for this team to get back to the NCAA tournament.

Per Game Projections: 32 minutes, 12.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 45.1% FG, 39.2% 3pt, 81.2% FT

Check out all of our other entries in the player profiles series: Tsohonis, Hardy, RaeQuan Battle, Jamal Bey, Nahziah Carter, Jaden McDaniels, Hameir Wright, Nate Roberts, Bryan Penn-Johnson, Sam Timmins, and Isaiah Stewart.