Kentucky's Shooting is FINALLY Heating Up

Kentucky's Shooting is FINALLY Heating Up

Article written by:Brent WainscottBrent Wainscott
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In the run-of-the-mill preseason Cal speak, we all heard John Calipari say he thought this year's Kentucky team could be one of the best shooting teams he's ever had. As the season went on, the losses piled up, and Kentucky seemingly could never break 60 points, we thought the offense's ineptitude was a foregone conclusion. But over the last few games, it appears the Cats might have finally turned it around. To start the season the Cats were building houses with a 28% shooting percentage behind the arc. That includes the Richmond and Georgia game where Kentucky went a combined 1-23 from deep. But, after Cal's tweaks and Kentucky's sense of urgency picking up in the half-court, Kentucky has shot nearly 44% from three over the past four games on 87 attempts. And yes, Dontaie Allen only contributed one of those threes, to the credit of every other player on the team. In fact, against Arkansas, Kentucky hit 14 triples, tying the most for a single game in John Calipari's Kentucky tenure. The approach has gone from, "I've got to let these guys work through their misses" to, "if you're open, shoot at will." The shot-making-improvements can be attributed to two players specifically: Olivier Sarr and B.J. Boston. In Boston's last four games he is shooting 58% from deep, all the way up from just 18% throughout the first 15 games of the season. It seems like Coach Cal has allowed Sarr to play more face-up and he's stroking a smooth 7-11 from deep over his last four after only making two threes in the first 15 games. Excluding the Tennessee game, Davion Mintz has become Cal's "dagger thrower," shooting an efficient 36% (9-22) behind the arc against Auburn, Arkansas, and Missouri. Kentucky has some reliable shooting options now. Throw in Dontaie Allen off the bench, plus the occasional three from Askew and Brooks, and it appears Kentucky is starting to piece together a rhythm for an offense that was stagnant up until February. Can the Cats keep lighting it up from deep? We'll find out on Wednesday when they take on Vanderbilt in wacky Memorial Gymnasium.

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2021-10-26