Calipari keeping Davion Mintz at point guard: "This starting lineup looks good for me"

Calipari keeping Davion Mintz at point guard: "This starting lineup looks good for me"

Jack Pilgrim8 months

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Article written by:Jack PilgrimJack Pilgrim
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<small>Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics</small>
[caption id="attachment_341815" align="alignnone" width="2560"] Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics[/caption] John Calipari likes what he sees out of Davion Mintz at the starting point guard position. Following his 20-point, seven-assist, two-turnover effort in Kentucky's blowout victory over South Carolina in the regular season finale on Saturday, Calipari says he is comfortable keeping Mintz at point guard as the Wildcats head down to Nashville for the SEC Tournament. In fact, the UK head coach said Mintz's play at the position reminded him of Andrew Harrison's impact as a distributor during the 2013-14 season, one that finished with a wildly memorable and historic postseason run the current group is also trying to make. "Here's what we needed to know: he can play the position and get shots off. We need him as a shot maker, and he did," Calipari said during his call-in radio show Monday evening. "He had seven assists. You remember what I did with Andrew (Harrison)? Andrew listened, he created shots for his teammates. He got James Young going, got his brother (Aaron Harrison) going, got everybody going, and that's what we need. Be a shot creator, don't worry about -- you'll score anyway. He had seven assists in that game." Mintz's presence at point guard allowed Calipari to introduce Jacob Toppin to the starting lineup, a move the UK coach allowed for versatility and length on both ends while keeping shot-makers on the floor. "This starting lineup looks good for me, to me anyway," Calipari said. "I like the length, we still have shot-making ability, we can put Olivier (Sarr) out. What I'm trying to get Jacob to do, every shot we take is a pass to you. Run in. ... Fly in there and try to tip-dunk. He could do it, he just has to have the mindset." While Mintz's shift to point guard moves Devin Askew to the bench for a backup role, Calipari says the freshman guard will still have plenty of opportunities to make an impact as postseason play begins. And for Kentucky to make a season-saving run, he needs to take advantage off those opportunities. "We need Devin, there's no, like, "We can win without Devin." No, we need Devin, we need him at his best," Calipari said. "What's that look like? Because the kid plays extremely hard, he really does. He did some good stuff last game. First half he struggled, but then he got going. We need him, believe me."

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2021-10-26