Cats just had a day where open shots would not go in

Kentucky guards made just 10 of 41 shots against Tennessee Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Remember back two months ago when Kentucky dismantled Tennessee 107-69 in Lexington. The Cats were 11-for-18 from 3-point range in that win. TyTy Washington had 28 points,  Sahvir Wheeler 21, Kellan Grady 16, and Davion Mintz 10. Together the four guards were a  combined 9-for-17 from 3-point range and 27-for-36 from the field overall.

In Saturday’s 69-62 SEC Tournament loss to the Vols, those four guards were a combined 1-for-17 from 3-point range and 10-for-41 from the field. Tennessee’s guards also outplayed UK’s backcourt in a 76-63 UT win in Knoxville Feb. 15.

“I feel like the looks that we got were good. It was just one of those days where the ball didn’t go in for us,” said UK forward Keion Brooks, who did make seven of 11 shots Saturday, said.

“There were some situations where we didn’t help each other out with getting open to get some of those shots, and sometimes we weren’t shot-ready when the ball was kicked out so us. I think for the most part, we got a lot of good looks.

“And Kellan (Grady) had some shots that rimmed in and out. Jacob (Toppin) and his pull-ups and 15-footers, shots that he never missed, went in and out. A lot of shots like that didn’t go our way tonight, but sometimes that happens, but you just have to continue to fight through it, and we still had a chance to win even with all that.”

Oscar Tshiebwe and coach John Calipari both thought the Cats had players who were hesitant to shoot when shots were not falling.

“We had a couple of players that did not want to shoot when they were open. Like Jacob, he always makes those 15, 17 footers, but the coaches say you have to shoot them,” Tshiebwe said.

“I’m down there fighting for rebounds. He miss. I probably have 50/50 chance to get the rebound. They just have to shoot the ball when they’re open. You have to do the things that is going to help us. We’re going to go back and work on that stuff and be ready to turn it up next week.”

Calipari said he wishes his guards had shot more despite the misses.

“I still want them to shoot more, and Oscar is right. If you shoot it and you miss it, we have a beast standing under the basket. Just shoot it. If you are anywhere near my bench, if someone on my team ever says, well, ‘He takes me out every time I miss a shot, ‘look, you’re a liar. I’m right there. You lied. You need to ask for forgiveness,” Calipari said.

“He tells you to shoot it, and you don’t shoot it. Don’t say he takes you out for misses.”

6 Responses

  1. Yesterday’s showing was bad, but it was not even close to this team’s worst game of the year, which was the debacle at Notre Dame. Actually, I believe in addition to Notre Dame, there have been 6 other games in which this team played worse than yesterday.

    What concerns me about yesterday was this team was not prepared for the war that everyone in the world except for the UK players and coaches clearly expected.

    How can the coaches not have the players completely tuned into the type of game that we all knew Tennessee would make it.

    The buck on this must stop at Calipari.

      1. I do. I agree there has been slippage, and the team will have to regain the ground it lost over the last 3 weeks, but it can do it, and I expect a fight in the Elite 8 against Baylor that UK can win.

  2. It was all about a lack of focus. The players not shooting around before the game and being distracted on their phones is clearly a lack of discipline on Cals end. Also, we all know that every game where the score is tight, there seems to be no plan. That guard for TN should have been double teamed and that would have opened a possibility for Toppin or Brooks to steal. Oscar was being drawn out on the perimeter on purpose and left under the basket open. I believe Barnes always our coaches Cal because he actually has a game plan. We should have won that game by 15. It’s all about intensity in every game and every sport. TN wanted it more.

    1. Enough talk about Billy Clyde, Calipari fell to his level last season. Calipari is a middle of the pack coach in the SEC. His self avowed policy of putting the players interest first versus winning championships is what most people in BBN are fed up with. Calipari has been the biggest disappointment in bringing only one national title to KY. This will be another also ran season and next year will most likely be another single digit win season…AGAIN! He is making Billy Clyde look better now that he is sober.

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