By LARRY VAUGHT
How did a Kentucky team that has struggled to make 3-point shots most of the season suddenly 10 of 22 treys against Lamar Sunday, including four in a four-minute blitz by freshman Tyrese Maxey?
Lamar coach Tic Price didn’t think it was that hard to explain after the Cats’ 81-56 win.
“I think it really takes a couple shots to go down, and then you get confidence. I think that was the case,” Price said. ” I think I called timeout, I couldn’t wait for that media timeout. I had to call it or it probably could’ve been a lot worse, in hopes that we could stop the momentum.
“But, when you knock down one or two shots, or maybe two shots, it builds on your confidence. I do think that was the case with Kentucky’s guard play, and we knew going in that we had to contain dribble penetration. But also there should be shot pressure. But even with the pressure, they’re just so much bigger than us.
“We’ve not played against perimeter players that are as big as they are. I think that as this team continues to play together, by the time they get into conference play they’re going to be a good basketball team. They’re a good basketball team now, but I think they’re going to be even better.”
So do I and the 3-point shooting will come. Kentucky coach John Calipari talked on his weekly radio show Monday night that 3-point shooting can be inconsistent for any team, not just Kentucky. He liked the idea that the more confidence a team has, the better it will shoot.
Just ask Evansville. The Aces stunned Kentucky because they made 3-point shots and UK didn’t. Lamar watched that game tape to see what Evansville did.
“We tried to find out what they did to beat the Wildcats. But,you’ve got to make shots against Kentucky and Evansville did. We didn’t,” Price said. “The way we played the ball screen was pretty much just open up and let them through. Evansville did the same thing, but the difference is, Evansville did make some shots.
“We couldn’t duplicate the offensive side of it. Plus, we didn’t have big and strong kids to match up with them physically either. So, you can watch Evansville all you want, but if you don’t have guys to match up with Kentucky, you’re going to have problems.”