Right now, Kentucky is attempting around 12 threes per game, the fewest of the John Calipari era; for the Cats to succeed, Calipari said that number has to go up.
“We’re trying to get to, instead of 14 or 15, we want to get to about 18, 19, 17, maybe 20 [three-point attempts] every once in a while,” Calipari said this afternoon. “We don’t want more than that because it’s not who we are, but we have to have that.”
Right now, Kevin Knox leads the team in three-point attempts with 4.8 per game, which Calipari says is fine, but he wants Knox to focus on driving the ball more. He said Quade Green needs to be the one to step up and fire away more often since he’s the most efficient shooter on the team, making 44% from the outside. Unfortunately, that’s on only 2.3 attempts per game.
“We have to have — Quade has got to scout out threes. He’s one of our best three point shooters,” Cal said. “We need Shai [Alexander] to scout out. I just asked him, are you getting in the gym, are you spending extra time? He said, yeah. I said, you’re not making any right now. You look at him, you look at Wenyen [Gabriel], Wenyen needs to shoot threes.”
Interestingly, Calipari said that the player whose shooting has impressed him most in practice this week is PJ Washington, who hasn’t hit a three all season.
“Right now, the guy that’s been shooting it well in practice and we’ve been waiting for is PJ. So, you get one more guy that can make perimeter shots, and they don’t have to be threes.”
All of that being said, Cal knows the strength of this team isn’t three-point shooting, nor does he want it to be. He referenced some teams that are taking 30 threes per game that will inevitably have a night on which they only make three (aka Florida last night). Instead, he wants this team to shoot it from the outside about 18 times per game and hopefully make at least six.
“If you make us take more than we want, okay, but we’ll still — this is a different kind of team. I’ve had teams that have shot more threes, but if you’ve followed me, anytime we’ve shot 27, 28, 29, 30 threes, we’ve lost that game. We’ve lost it. It’s not how we play. But I do want more than 12 [attempts]. We should be able to make six threes a game, maybe seven. But six threes should be what we get per game with the way the team can shoot.”
Three-point makes/attempts per game in the Calipari Era
|Season||Avg. 3PM||Avg. 3PA|