By LARRY VAUGHT
Tyler Herro’s legacy just gets better and better.
He had 20 points at Auburn in Saturday’s 82-80 win, including the go-ahead free throw, and impressed Auburn coach Bruce Pearl a lot.
“He’s really good. Tyler Herro was an elite high school player; could have gone anywhere in the country. He’s a big-time athlete. I mean, he’s a big kid. So, no, I mean — I think Keldon and Tyler’s ability at guard, at 6-6, 6-7, whatever they are, was a factor.
Not everyone agreed about Herro being elite — even though he was. He did not make the McDonald’s All-American team and was not rated as high nationally as UK’s other freshmen. But he’s become a playmaker for Kentucky and has even improved dramatically on defense to where coach John Calipari had him on Auburn’s leading scorer, Bryce Brown.
”It wasn’t bad. He did pretty good. He’s trying, works his butt off and tries,” Calipari said.
But Herro did commit one foul on a 3-point shot by Brown that infuriated Calipari.
“The problem is that once the game gets going they revert, and start playing like it’s a high school game. For example, that Tyler foul , and I asked why he’d do that when we’re ready to bury them? So that’s the kind of stuff where we just have to tighten the ship up,” Calipari said.
Still, Kentucky did win its second straight SEC road game after starting SEC play with a loss at Auburn.
“That was a great atmosphere out there. Just sticking together, which we did, that was good to see. I think we’ve come a long way from where we were at the beginning of the season. We got leaders out there. PJ (Washington) and Reid (Travis) did a great job leading us and sticking together,” Herro said.