By LARRY VAUGHT
Remember when the season started and everyone assumed the one way that freshman Tyler Herro could help Kentucky was by hitting 3-point shots.
He has shown he can do that and when he does, it does help UK. But he’s also shown he can do more than just make shots to help UK like he did in the win over Kansas Saturday night.
Herro went 2-for-9 from the field, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range, in 28 minutes but contributed with five rebounds, five assists and defense that caught the attention of almost everyone.
“Tyler didn’t make shots, but I thought played well because now he’s defending and rebounding, he doesn’t have to make shots every time,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “He had two turnovers, late. One on a post feed for no reason and one on a baseline drive when he just should have shot the ball. But he’s still learning. He reverts back to high school at times. He’s 19 years old.”
Herro was on Kansas star Lagerald Vick most of the time he was in the game. Vick is one of Kansas’ most experienced players and best scorers. He hit two late 3-pointers to finish with 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting. But he went almost 18 minutes in the second half without getting off a shot.
“I thought Herro is really an underrated defender in my eyes, from what I saw. (Ashton) Hagans controlled the game in that spot,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.
I couldn’t let Self’s comment about Herro go. So I asked why he thought Herro was underrated defensively?
“I thought he did a good job on Vick, really good job. I thought he denied him the ball. We tried to fake-screen him a few times and do some different things, and he always seemed to get through it,” Self said. “I think he’s a very active, very good player.
“When I say underrated, he may be touted as being great defensively. I don’t know, I’m not here. I don’t know if you guys cover him closely and know that. But, the reality of it is, from my vantage point, he looked that role tonight.”