BEL AIR, Md. -- "Old school" or "old head" are not terms often used for rookie point guards only in the high school class of 2018.
But John Carroll of Bel Air has one in promising freshman lead guard Immanuel Quickley, the latest offing in coach Tony Martin's long line of top guards to come through the Harford County Catholic school.
Quickley, at a long 6-2.5 with a gaudy 6-9 wingspan, is just scratching the surface in his first campaign at John Carroll, the first point guard reserve off the bench for Martin and the 17-1 Patriots. But he is quickly making a name for himself, as further evidenced by this week's performance in JC's 69-48 romp over Calvert Hall.
Before a raucous home crowd -- and game with ejections, technical fouls and some near-brawls -- the precocious Quickley showed why he has poise beyond his years. He entered the contest midway through the first quarter, hit his first shot on a floater in the lane after beating his man left (to give JC a 14-12 lead with 50 seconds left), and from there JC would never look back as he helped set the pace and tempo for a game that could have gotten out of hand.
Quickley has high 'basketball IQ,' is a good athlete but not a "blow-by" guy, has a strong skill-set, changes speeds well, and definitely has that old-school "feel" to his game, lulling defenders only to drop dimes at the critical moment to teammates in scoring positions. He thinks 'pass-first' like a true old-school, set-up man, and has the court vision and smarts to back it up despite his youth.
Off the bench Jan. 7, Quickley finished with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and one athletic block, where he came from the backside to swat a post-man's short jumper. Quickley assisted on consecutive three-balls on the right wing late in the first half as JC blew open the game, while he nailed two deeps treys of his own, connecting on both of his attempts in the game.
He hit 5-of-7 field goals and 3-of-5 free throws in an economical night's work, showing poise, anticipation and steadiness running JC's sets like a junior or senior who has been around longer. His long arms enabled him to disrupt the passing lanes and get deflections, and alter some shots as well. Quickley has a good frame to add even more bulk in the coming years.
"He changes speeds very well, makes everyone around him better, kids love playing with him, and he uses his length well defensively," Tony Martin said. "He picks things up very easily, he has the “it” factor you look for, and he will be a stud when it’s all said and done. When his body fully matures, watch out."
Quickley is a pass-first playmaker, but can get, and hit, his shot. He has good feel for finding openings and lanes, as well as balance, and can take the bump and finish pretty well despite his slender frame (170 pounds). His shot is more of a set shot now, with a bit of a deliberate release, but again he's only a freshman earning his way and adding strength. While Calvert Hall was down its top two players (Drew Edwards/ejection, Nico Clareth/prior concussion), Quickley used his length and vision against other athletic CH guards to set the table and find opportunities for JC scorers. He knew when to pull the ball back out and work time off the clock when things were getting chippy, and he always looked in control.
Quickley comes from good stock, as his mother played Division I ball. While it is early, he projects as a likely HM at this time, and has interest early from schools like Maryland, as well as other ACC schools and beyond. He has been to Maryland, Duke and North Carolina unofficially in the past for visits/camps.
Martin said Terps assistant Bino Ranson has already been in touch with him about his promising freshman lead guard, who has helped JC to the fast start and some key wins already.
Freshman PG Quickley Turning Heads
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