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Can UK take advantage of LSU’s recent 3-point defensive woes?

Ashton Hagans missed all five 3-pointers he took against Ole Miss. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After a 2-for-22 performance from 3-point range against Mississippi on Saturday, maybe the LSU defense tonight is just what Kentucky needs to face.

Through 21 games LSU opponents were shooting under 32 percent from 3-point range against the Tigers. In the last four games, LSU opponents have shot 40 percent from 3-point range and LSU has lost three of those games.

“I don’t know if anything is surprising. … It’s just not very good,” LSU coach Will Wade said.

Kentucky guards Immanuel Maxey, Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans have hit a combined 83 3-pointers this year. Ole Miss, though, basically dared UK to fire away from 3-point range and both Maxey and Hagans went 0-for-5 while Quickley hit just one 3-pointer.

Yet Wade seemed genuinely concerned that teams have found flaws in LSU’s defense.

“Teams have figured us out. They know where our weak spots are,” Wade said. “They attack the same two or three people over and over and over and over and over again.”

One plus for Kentucky tonight could be that it has shot better in road games than in Rupp Arena. Why is that?

“You got an answer for me? Because I don’t have one. We probably spend as much time in our opponents’ building as we do in our own so that’s not a factor,” Barbee said. “So, who knows what it is. But we’ve got fantastic shooters and I think in the few home games that we have remaining, hopefully we will start to shoot a lot better.”

Sestina said he had no answer for the road shooting, either.

“Some games you’re on, some games you’re off,” Sestina said.

1 comment

  1. Coach’s offense is geared to use up 80+% of the shot clock. We need to be shooting in the 15 to 20 second range to avoid forcing shots when a play gets stuffed. Play through Nick and Nick will find the open man when the double team comes. That is where our 3 point success lies. Nick doesn’t force shots when he sees the ball is coming his way, but will rush a shot against a triple team if he rarely sees the ball. Coach has to see this. Why can’t he get the guards to buy into it?

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