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Calipari wants every player to be a shooter

Freshman Tyler Herro, center, is the kind of shooter John Calipari wants on the court.


Long, versatile athletes who could play “positionless” basketball have been a recruiting priority for Kentucky coach John Calipari.

However, he’s making a philosophical shift.

“I want to have everyone on the court that can shoot the ball,” Calipari during a break at UK’s satellite camp at Ryle High School Thursday. “You’ve got to be honest, you’ve got to play them.

“Anytime you’re playing against a team where they’re playing off of one person it’s hard. How about two? And we’ve had sometimes when they played off three.”

Inconsistent 3-point shooting cost UK a national title in 2010, Calipari’s first season, when UK went 4-for-32 from long range in a NCAA East Region final loss to West Virginia.
Kentucky was one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the nation last year. Out of 351 teams, Kentucky ranked 344th in percentage of points from 3-point range at 20 percent. For only the second time in Calipari’s nine years at UK, the Cats failed to make 200 3-pointers and also failed to make a 3 in a NCAA Tournament game.

“We’re not a team that relies on 3s,” Calipari said after the game. “We’d like to make five, six, seven, maybe eight 3’s (per game). There’s teams that need to make 12, 13, 14 to win. We’re not one of them.”

However, he says the NBA proves the importance of perimeter shooting.

“Offensive rebounding plays no part in the pro game anymore. You shoot the ball and you run back. They’re not sending three and four guys to the glass. They’re running back. And what they’re saying is we shoot it well enough, we’re giving up something this end that we don’t like the percentages,” Calipari said.


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  1. I don’t like this message about de-emphasizing offensive rebounding at all. Each offensive rebound provides two things: (1) a bonus, free possession, that (2) has a higher average probability of scoring than a first possession has.

    Maximize offensive efficiency by maximizing offensive rebounds (thus minimizing opponent defensive rebounds) is the formula for success in college basketball. What I read between the lines of this statement is an attempt to rationalize in advance what will surely emerge as a weakness in the next team he puts on the floor.

    It gets tiring hearing these justifications to explain team weaknesses.

    Here is what I believe is important:

    Shoot the ball well (over 50% overall, over 35% from 3 point line, and over 70% from the free throw line)
    Defend aggressively and effectively (under 33% from 3 point line and under 40% overall from the floor)
    Rebound on both ends
    High assist/turnover ratio

    Who he puts on the floor to achieve these performance goals is secondary to me. How much time players X, Y, or Z get in a game or in a season is secondary to me. How many points players X, Y, or Z score in a game or in a season is secondary to me.

    Time to get it done Coach!!!

    1. Ditto. The Professor just outlined a winning plan in college basketball. Good luck Coach with everybody being a shooter too. It won’t happen.

      1. The Basketball Bennies must continue to speak the truth about UK Basketball.

  2. tic-toc



    The clock on the 8 year rule is moving Coach. Ask Coaches Rupp, Hall, and Smith about how the 8 year rule affected each of them as UK Head Basketball Coaches.

    The Time For Coach Calipari To Get It Done Has Arrived.

  3. Professor, I don’t think there’s tickinga bomb against Cal as long his son is in school and UK higher ups are supporter of him. So don’t start something that your dreaming of.

  4. simply observing history. Win a championship and all of this goes away again. Fail to win a championship, and the unhappiness in the BBN will rise. 6 years and counting going into the 2018-19 season.

  5. Again I have posted how often do we win it all, not a pretty track record since 78 it took 18 year’s to win our next two and it was all by Rick Pitino that brought our program back on stage and now some of our BBN fans hate him for leaving us. As far what he done at Louisville I can give a horse rat. I take him what he has done for UK never less. Oh not to mention our next title after Tubbys it took another 14 years. We take too much granted thank we should win it every year it’s not gonna happen folks. But I do feel the pressure on Cal is getting there and I feel he will deliver it within next two years. Go Cats!!

  6. I have an 8 year rule. It is based on my lifetime of watching and following the UK basketball program from the mid 60s to today. Here is the history that supports my 8 year rule:

    Coach Rupp won the championship last in 1958. By 1964 (year 6) and 1965 (year 7), the natives were extremely restless. I was a brand new fan in those days, and I recall talk from older fans of that day that Adolph was too old, the game had passed him by, etc. 1965 produced a 15-10 record and one would have thought the world was coming to an end. In addition, it was the7th season from a championship and by the end of that season, the chatter was intense.

    I could not believe what I was hearing about a coach who had such a remarkable record and career at UK. In 1966, the Runts took some of the heat off Coach Rupp, but not all of it because they did not win it all. Then, the 13-13 record in 1967 (Rupp’s only non-winning season of his entire career) returned the heat really quick on Coach Rupp. Not only was the 1967 team bad, it only had 1 sophomore (Phil Argento) in the player pipeline. “Rupp just couldn’t recruit any more” was the mantra in 1967. The retort was “just wait until Casey, Issel and Pratt can play next year” and this of course was correct, but the heat on the Baron was inescapable, and continued until he was forced to retire after the 1972 season.

    Joe Hall won his championship in 1978, his 6th year. His close calls in 1975 and 1977 were tempting the fans but everyone understood he had to win one, and soon. The pressure on him and on his team in 1978 was incredibly intense, and Joe did win the championship in 1978, his 6th year. However, 6 years out from the championship, 1984, the final four meltdown was not helpful, and Joe B. was under intense pressure in year 7 to get it done. He felt the pressure and resigned. I believe his voluntary resignation saved his placed in posterity for the Big Blue Nation but if Joe had resisted and hung on for 2, or even 1 more year, he may not be as fondly remembered today by a large segment of the BBN.

    Tubby, without going into whether he deserves any credit for the 1998 championship, won it in 1998. The Chuck Hayes bump in 2003 and 2004 (years 5 and 6 from a championship) buoyed him to allow him to “survive” another 3 seasons, and since he held on for more years than the 8 year rule would allow, his posterity with a large segment of the Big Blue Nation is irreparable.

    Calipari is now 6 years removed from a championship. If he does not win one in year 7 or at the latest year 8, the pressure he is now feeling will only intensify.

    By the way, the 8 year rule did not exist prior to Coach Rupp winning his first 3 championships in the late 1940s and early 1950s. But, that taste of championship success created the rule, and it has remained a milestone in the psyche of the Big Blue Nation ever since. I think Calipari should understand that this also applies to him, if he does not already know this. I believe he senses it, but may not have the rule deciphered yet.

    My 8 year rule at work.

  7. Professor, your 8 year old rule is out dated. Time and the game has changed can’t keep your old fashioned thoughts in hand to today game plan

  8. Time will tell. If Calipari delivers #9 this year, the issue is moot. If not, we shall both watch how the BBN reacts moving forward.

    1. Calipari is proving just how hard it is to win a national championship with a new group of freshmen stars every year. An Anthony Davis type team is hard to duplicate year after year. I agree Professor, many in BBN feel the time has come for this Calipari led program to hang another banner in Rupp. Many feel it is past time. He still has a lot of support, but I sense his star is fading just a little. We will see if he still has some magic in 2018-19 year. Cats79 you are right, times change, but Kentucky basketball remains the same in many ways, and their storied history demands championship results, nothing less will satisfy. Go Cats!!!

  9. Me thinks the Professor is on to something. Instead of UK catching and passing UCLA, Duke and North Carolina are getting close to catching UK. Tell me anyone is happy with that!

  10. Oh, as far as everyone being a shooter…it won’t happen, but everyone needs to be a capable scorer. Offensive rebounds/putbacks are key to a winning game. The ONE thing that EVERYONE needs to be is a solid defender. There will always be shooters but what good does it do to score 20 and have your man score 30?

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