Quade Green will be a star on Kentucky’s team next season

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: Quade Green
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: Quade Green /

Quade Green is returning next year for the Wildcats. Big Blue Nation doesn’t see 5-star players return for their sophomore seasons too often. Look for Green to shine in his second season with the Cats.

Quade Green is returning next year for the Wildcats. Big Blue Nation doesn’t see 5-star players return for their sophomore seasons too often. However, Green may remind some UK fans of a former 5-star player who shined on the 2012 National Championship team. Can Green mimic that type of performance in 2018?

Doron Lamb, a member of the 2012 National Championship team, returned for his sophomore season with Kentucky. Lamb was the second-leading scorer on the Wildcats that season and was a big reason the Cats cut down the nets in 2012.

Lamb was a 5-star recruit, ranked 24th nationally by 247 Sports during the 2010 recruiting campaign. Green was also a 5-star recruit and ranked 26th nationally by 247 Sports in the class of 2017.

During his freshman season, Lamb started 14 games, played 28.4 minutes per game and averaged 12.3 points. Check out Green’s numbers from last season. He started 13 games, played 25.6 minutes per game and averaged 9.3 points.

Next: PJ Washington should stay and be a first-round pick in 2019

Both Lamb and Green took about 8 shots per game during their freshmen seasons as well. In fact, the biggest difference between Lamb and Green during their freshmen campaigns was three-point shooting. Lamb was a knockdown shooter, canning 48.6% from downtown during the 2010-11 season. Green wasn’t bad himself, hitting 37.6% of his three-pointers.

Doron Lamb’s sophomore season

The 2011-12 Kentucky basketball team will be remembered as the team led by freshmen Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Marquis Teague was also a solid contributor, adding 10 points and 4.8 assists per game himself. But everyone forgets what a huge contributor Doron Lamb was for that team.

Lamb was the second-leading scorer for the Cats in 2011-12. He scored 13.7 points per game and knocked down 46.6% from downtown. Lamb scored in double figures in 30 of the Wildcats’ 40 games during their championship run. He averaged 16.5 points during the NCAA Tournament and hit a staggering 52% from behind the arc. Lamb took home All-Tournament honors for his performance during March Madness.

Lamb left the Kentucky basketball program after his sophomore season and declared for the NBA Draft. The Milwaukee Bucks took Lamb with the 42 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Lamb’s NBA career was short-lived. He played only 100 NBA games, suiting up for the Bucks and Magic, and only averaged 3.5 points over his NBA career.

Can Quade Green have a similar sophomore campaign?

There’s still a few question marks surrounding the upcoming Kentucky basketball season. Will PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel come back? Will Ashton Hagans, as expected, reclassify to the class of 2018?

Next year’s team is beginning to look eerily similar to the 2011-12 championship team. John Calipari has already compared incoming freshman EJ Montgomery to Anthony Davis. Odds are looking up for Gabriel to return. Does he remind anyone else of Darius Miller? Are Vanderbilt or Washington comparable to Terrence Jones?

Quade Green will be the unquestioned leader of the Cats next season. Green has a certain level of swagger about him, and Big Blue Nation should expect the 2018-19 Wildcats to follow Green’s lead. With Hagans and Immanuel Quickely will likely be running the point, which will take the pressure off Green and allow him to play off-ball more often.

Look, I’m not saying next year’s team will be as dominant as the Kentucky basketball team that went 38-2, in route to the school’s eighth National Championship. But, the similarities are there, and Green, much like Doron Lamb, could be the biggest piece on next year’s team.