By LARRY VAUGHT
Shooting has not been a big problem for Kentucky this season. It’s making (shots) that has been the problem.
That’s why it was a bit stunning to see UK go 8-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half of Saturday’s win over Missouri. Kentucky just has not been a good 3-point shooting team, one reason it has already lost nine games.
Yet Calipari says this is not a bad 3-point shooting team.
“We had a pro scout, we had a couple in the other day, and one guy had been in 10 times. He grabbed me and he said, ‘Here’s what I don’t understand. I sit here and watch your team shoot in practice and they’re like unbelievable. Then they get in games and guys are shooting air balls. The same guy I saw make 15 in a row gets in the game and shoots an air ball. How is that?'” Calipari said.
“ And I told the players that. It’s more mental. Because, again, and it’s contagious. If one guy makes it another guy makes it, it’s a little bit contagious.
“But making free throws and doing the stuff that we’re doing, just getting better. We’re an athletic, long team. We can block shots, can play different ways, can play a bigger team and smaller team, and your smaller teams are still 6-9, 6-9, 6-8. ”
Calipari said he was ready for UK to become a better team — and it has during a three-game win streak going into Wednesday night’s game against Ole Miss. Calipari said he’s back having fun with this team, maybe for the first time this season.
“I’m not fighting everybody. It was only a month ago, three weeks ago half the team, it was a fight to get them to play how we were trying to get them to play,” Calipari said. “But the other side of it is it took us a while to figure out the team, and figure out Kevin Knox, and how we were going to play Jarred and what we were going to do, and Jarred joining us mid season made it hard. ”