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We have to talk about Tyler Herro’s recent performances
by Maggie Davis on December 9, 2018 at 9:00 pm

I didn’t want to write this post. I know Saturday’s loss to Seton Hall is still fresh in the minds of the BBN, and I know how the comment section can look when avid KSR readers get more than a little upset. I am never one to trash players – that is absolutely not what I am here to do, in this article or ever.

And yet, I think it’s time to analyze Tyler Herro’s recent performances, specifically his recent struggles from behind the three-point line.

Against Seton Hall, Herro was 0-6 from behind-the-arc for a crushing zero percent. In some instances, he quickly fired up a crooked shot as soon as the ball landed in his hands but, in other instances, he missed a wide-open trey. He’s been labeled as a catch-and-release shooter, but that inconsistency is worrisome. So what gives?

Tyler Herro hit the court running this season – he thrived in the Bahamas, surprising most fans (myself included) with his scoring abilities and his smooth shot against professional competition. In our minds, he was always meant to be a multi-year player under John Calipari. But after the Bahamas, he landed a spot in the starting five and even joined the list of potential one-and-done players. At the conclusion of the four-game run, he ended the trip 8-18 for 44 percent from the three-point land. He averaged 21.8 minutes per game.

Then, Herro (and the rest of the BBN) got a dose of reality. He had to give up the safe confines of the more familiar, high school-like gym in the Bahamas for much larger venues like Rupp Arena, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Madison Square Garden. This can’t be an easy transition for many 18-year-olds.

Herro had one of his worst performances of the season against Duke, at least when you isolate his three-point shooting. He finished 1-6 for 16.7 percent from behind-the-arc against the Blue Devils. From then on, it’s been mostly bleak. His best performance came in the Cats’ exhibition win over IUP (5-for-7 three pointers) and he found a decent shooting rhythm against Winthrop, where he finished 3-8. Other than that, it’s averaged out to about two three-pointers per night for the freshman. Which is not bad. 

What is bad, however, is his completion percentage. Making two shots a night is fine when you’re tossing up two or three or even four. But consistently going 2-5 or 2-6 (as he did against Monmouth and UNC-Greensboro) is hurting Kentucky. And an 0-6 performance against Seton Hall has to be considered unacceptable. Can you imagine the outcome of the game if he had hit just one or two of those?

On the season, he now checks in at 27.3 percent. In other words, he makes 1.3 three-point shots for every 4.9 he attempts.

In the Bahamas, when he was playing his best and most consistent basketball, Tyler Herro was averaging 21.8 minutes per game. Since the official beginning of the season, he’s averaged 26.3 minutes per game. The rest of 2017 should be used as a test – increase efficiency by choosing to take better shots and making the easy ones, or lose those five minutes of play as the Cats enter SEC play. Coach Calipari has often stated his “just keep shooting” mentality, but at what point is enough, enough?

It could be argued Herro’s more recent performances are having an effect on his mental state going into games. Fan expectations are high thanks to his outstanding Bahamas showcase and (to be fair) unrealistic comparisons to all-time greats like Rex Chapman and Jeff Sheppard. For now, it’s best to sit back and let Tyler Herro just be Tyler Herro.

After Kentucky beat Southern Illinois University back in November, their head coach put it perfectly: “No matter how much you stick Tyler Herro in a microwave, he’s not going to get older faster. He’s just going to have to play through it.”

For now, that’s what we have to do.


78 Replies to “We have to talk about Tyler Herro’s recent performances”

  1. Bigblue7982 says:

    Needs to come off the bench.

  2. Smyrna_Cat says:

    None of the guards are shooting well.

  3. Mc12 says:

    E for effort I guess.

    1. syrin23 says:

      Here’s what is under appreciated about Tyler. He is the best passing lane defender we have seen at UK since John Wall. He is the best entry into the post passer on the team. He is overthinking his shot, If you notice, almost all of his shots are short. He’s putting too much pressure on himself. Not sure how to break it, but right now our best shooter is indeed a below average shooter.

    2. syrin23 says:

      And oh yeah, here’s the other thing about Tyler. Even with poor shooting, he almost every game is first or second in the efficiency (+/-) ratings. He contributes in many ways.

    3. IrishCat says:

      I agree, his effort and motor are still high. Not a good on-ball defender right now, but he doesn’t just give up position when he’s off ball like others do. He cuts hard every time and brings energy.

    4. Mc12 says:

      I agree. Herro does enough to warrant playing time. My comment was for the writer. I read this whole thing and you can tell she doesn’t know a lot about basketball. So she gets an E for effort

  4. nicky says:

    He’ll be fine but he’s definitely rushing his shot….once the game slows down for him he’ll be good to go

  5. shelby says:

    Quade has been much better imo. I think quade and hagans should start with KJ PJ and Travis.

    1. BBNDan7 says:

      Quade?! Did you watch Quade on Saturday?

    2. Quake is not bad as a two. He turns the ball over too much as the primary ball handler, unfortunately, because he needs to be the pg for any shot at a professional future. I agree that the starting lineup needs to be Hagans, Quade, KJ, PJ, and Travis with Quickey coming in first as guard and EJ coming in as first big. Then Herro and Richards.

    3. syrin23 says:

      Quade has been a better shooter, and that’s it. His defense is awful, his passes are awful. He is an under sized shooting guard without a natural feel for the game.

    4. RkyMntCatFan says:

      Quade is by far the worst all around guard we have.

  6. Where’s Jamarl Baker been? He threw him in for like 2 mins against SH, but given how awful Herro has been playing, gotta think he’s gonna get a shot at big time minutes soon. He should anyway.

    1. herm89 says:

      He’s been injured ever since he got here.

    2. Irish son says:

      He lost a leg I believe…

    3. Slow Learner says:

      If he can drain a 3 while guarded now and the he should be starting. With Johnson, PJ, Travis, and Nick

    4. He played. Didn’t see much but I agree…I thought he should have been in when we needed a three late in RT and OT.

  7. Kat4Life says:

    Next year our backcourt will be absurdly crowded, as none have played themselves into an NBA discussion. Hagans, Quickly, Green, Baker, Calipari, and Herro will join Maxey. Minutes will be tough to earn.

  8. herm89 says:

    If he went 2-5 every game he’d be a 40 percent shooter. That would help not hurt us. He hasn’t shot the ball well but he will certainly improve. No need to fret

    1. BPatte says:

      Not fair to call out one player, they’ve all played poorly at times.

    2. IrishCat says:

      Absolutely, Herm. Have to wonder what the writer was thinking when she wrote that.

    3. CatFanInLou says:

      Exactly. Even 2/6 from three (33%) is equal to 50% from two. Anything above that is gravy.

    4. Luether says:

      Maggie, maybe a math lessen is in order here regarding your statement:

      “But consistently going 2-5 or 2-6 (as he did against Monmouth and UNC-Greensboro) is hurting Kentucky.”

      No it’s not…

      Going 2 – 6 (33.33%) from 3 is exactly the same as going 3 – 6 from 2 (50.00%). No one knowledgeable would say that is “hurting Kentucky”…

  9. Slow Learner says:

    I played some before injury. Smaller U. I can tell you this. When everyone else was faster than me for the most part running the ball, everything was a blur and my teeth were gritting unlike high school all was fluid. So Nicky is probably right about when things slow down. However in my mind the biggest factor for the team is all the layers are frustrated but not just playing time. They never know who they are going to be on the court with. I have noticed that all Cals teams struggle unless they have 1 super dominant player. IMO if he doesn’t start Richards and leave him in this team will never make it. Not a lot of BB is there but it’s EJ Montgomery May never make it at all at big time unless there is a big time big man on the court at the same time. Too frail and scared. Reid is only effective if perimeter shots are falling………please come home Duran Lamb. Same % shooting nite in nite out and never choked on the big one like Murray and Monk. This team is in trouble y’all. Unless we play Travis and Richards together. None of our perimeter players can drain it when guarded……..

    1. kjd says:

      If we’re dependent on Nick Richards, as you say, then the season is over as far as achieving any preseason goals.

    2. syrin23 says:

      EJ is WAY better than Richards. EJ has a mid range jump shot.

    3. E11Q says:

      Richards? You think Nick Richards is the answer to this team’s problem? Your username seems to be spot on sir.

  10. RAGE says:

    I think Herro will come out of this shooting slump… All people goes through slumps in sports… I think it is mental right now with Herro at this point in the early season… When he quits thinking so much and just starts seeing a few go in he will snap out of it… One of these games he will absolutely light someone up… He seems to be pressing so hard now he ain’t shooting the ball when he does have open looks so much

    1. kjd says:

      Can’t wait to see him light up ONE team. That will certainly propel us into the tournament come March. SMH

  11. Slow Learner says:

    But Cal promises PT and doesn’t break the promise. That’s why we lost to Wisconsin with Harrison twins stocks were sinking he refuse to let Tyler Ulis bring home the championship that year. So what we are seeing is the yearly dilemma. How can we play 2 guards with Washington, Richards, and Reid at the same time and still recruit and land big time guards when freshmen aren’t getting PT. that is riddle solved. Cal knows it, Cal won’t do it to his promised Madonnas. Think about the past, the, now, and watch it prove out all year long. That cat is out of the bag, you can’t out quick top 25 teams, you have to have men on the court and absolute drainer shooters, the thunder dunk is finally over rated.

    1. ukbradstith says:

      One thing Cal absolutely does not do is promise playing time. Please let the Harrison thing rest. They were so much better than freshmen Ulis/Booker it wasn’t even close. Couldn’t really comprehend any other points you were trying to make.

    2. Slow Learner says:

      So you think Aaron Harrison was a better college player than Uliss?

    3. Slow Learner says:

      I’ll hold off on slamming Cal until conference road games. I’ll just say this and sign off. UK finally started getting great players under Cal.. But the 1 and done thing isn’t working so good in a while. If we beat N.c. I’ll shut up. Otherwise I might bet on the U of L game and tell you how that works out for me.

    4. Batsell says:

      Damn, you must be a Slow Learner or someone who never really keeps up with the BBN. The one thing Cal DOESN’T do is promise playing time. STFU dumbass!

    5. Kat4Life says:

      You are kidding me right ? Ulis was a consensus first team All American and Conference POY. Harrison was great, but c’mon. Ulis was absolutely a better college player than either Harrison.

    6. Jiminy Crickets says:

      Cal stubbornly teaches to switch on every screen. Wisconsin knew it and switched until Ulis was caught guarding Kamiski. He was getting murdered on defense. But that was a coaching issue, not who’s the better player issue

    7. syrin23 says:

      Cal admitted after the season he should have benched the Harrisons who were just awful.

    8. Papaw says:

      No, the reason we lost to Wisconsin was playing not lose instead of playing to win. i.e 3 straight shit clock violations in the last few minutes of the game

    9. E11Q says:

      Jesus Christ dude! Now you want to play Travis, Richards, and PJ at the same time?!?!?!?! This isn’t 1957. You can’t play 3 bigs that can’t defend! You think we had problems defending the perimeter before? Try it with this lineup! I’m not sure how Richards is even able to tie his own shoes with as low as his basketball IQ is! He’s the worst defender we’ve had, in terms of bigs, in Cal’s tenure.

      And where the hell is your offense going to come from with this group? You’re going to have to play PJ away from the basket, which completely undermines the foundation of his game. Travis and Richards are both cement footed and will have to be stuck in the paint, clogging up the lane. You think we had problems getting to the rim? Roll this lineup out and see how that works for you. You’ll never get anything inside from guard penetration. PJ is not the kind of player that’s going to take people off the bounce to the perimeter at all. So that leaves you with Haggans (too little to score inside) and either Herro (who is playing so badly he might be shaving points), Johnson (who is not an effective floor stretcher) or Quickly (whose name is ironic because he isn’t the least bit quick with the ball in his hands and can’t break down a defender if you put a gun to his head).

      So what’s your offensive game plan here? Pound the ball inside to the athletic 7 footer who has butterfingers and can’t score 10 points if he’s locked in the gym by himself? Or throw it into the unathletic 6’8″ PF who struggles to touch the rim and finish over any sort of actual size?

      Sure let’s play two bigs in the post like it’s 1965 and settle for contested jump hooks while the other teams are playing like its 2018 and have 4-5 players moving and cutting all the time and play in space.

      Our biggest problem is our archaic, stagnant offense. We do so much false motion and dribble handoffs at the top of the key that we run 10 seconds off the clock before we can get into our offense. Then we have three guys moving on the perimeter (with maybe the worst spacing in the history of organized basketball in this state) and two (sometimes) three players on blocks just setting (and that’s a loose interpretation of that word) bullcrap floppy screens that Herro or Quade runs too wide to use, just to settler for a pull-up 18 footer with a hand in our face.

      If Cal doesn’t find a way to get more ball and player movement, we are screwed because this team lacks that one guy who can get to the rim and finish at will, which is what all of Cal’s best teams have had. Wall, Bledsoe, Knight (who also ran the PnR as well as anyone), Teague, Ulis, Murray, Andrew Harrison, and Fox all could put the ball on the deck and get to the rim. Each in their own unique way, through quickness, craftiness, or sheer brute strength (a la Andrew Harrison). We just don’t have that this year.

  12. VirginiaCat says:

    It may be that Cal’s in his head. I understand that Cal has been telling him to catch and shoot faster. If that is taking him out of his natural rhythm, it might explain his issues since the Bahamas.

  13. KYCat4EVER says:

    Feel really sorry for this young man!

    Quite honestly, the Bahamas was not the greatest “measuring stick” for Herro, other than proving, as advertised, that he CAN SHOOT THE BASKETBALL VERY WELL!

    So why wasn’t the Bahamas the best measuring stick?

    If you replay those games you will notice a disparity in “STRUCTURE” on Calipari’s behalf AND our opponents!

    Once you place a young man, like Herro -who can stroke it from outside, in to a DRIBBLE DRIVE “unstructured offense”, and tell him “go dribble and drive and make your own shots” or tell his teammates “go dribble and drive and make your own shots”, you have basically HANDCUFFED a shooter like Herro, because his strength is NOT Dribble Driving to score: its SPACING, MOVING WITHOUT THE BALL TO GET OPEN, with your teammates SETTING SCREENS and PICKS to help you get open.

    You may have noticed…THAT did NOT occur one time during the DUKE GAME, and Herro got so frustrated that he began to FORCE SHOTS, because the Dribble Drive did NOTHING to get him open.

    Additionally, this unstructured offense continued for the fist 4-5 games, and poor Herro LOST all confidence… period: and can you blame him!

    I think this is why we are now seeing the young man struggling and currently missing “good shots as well as tuff shots.

    Listen: just go back and watch a UK Basketball game when Pitino was our coach ( even the DuKe game if you so choose) and take a hard look at how well we used SPACING, PICKS, BACKDOORS, SCREENS, and MOVING WITHOUT THE BALL!
    Heck, Herro would be averaging DOUBLE/ DOUBLES in that STRUCTURED OFFENSE.

    CALS Dribble Drive is not a very good TEAM
    MOVEMENT OFFENSE capable of getting the BEST out of players/shooters like Herro!

    1. syrin23 says:

      Yeah, I hate the dribble drive. Leads to some horrible shots.

    2. henderblue says:

      I think Cal is going to have to ditch the dribble drive this year with the guards we have this year. He did mention after the game that they were going to have to work on spacing in the offense. One thing I noticed about Herro Saturday on a couple of his shots, he wasn’t balanced and square to the basket going up. He didn’t have his legs under him. Maybe rushing a little. No one shot very well Saturday and they are going to have to knock down shots going forward to open up the inside game

  14. Slow Learner says:

    The kid from Seton Hall proved height and length is way over rated. So the script looks like we get our butts whipped all year long after Jan 1, unless Cal breaks his promise to a handful and plays Washington, Richards, and Reid together long enough for the poor kids caN play together. Another thing is PAINfully obvious. These kids are not playing defense in practice. If they were, why would Quade throw stupid passes concours thing the D won’t swat it??. His passing is terrible…..who has he been playing against in practice. Cal says he’s not worried about offense, well at least he’s honest. But….he better start worrying about it and quickly. This is the worst bunch of freshmen guards in A very very long time.

    1. kjd says:

      I don’t know what anybody sees in Nick Richards. Role player. Period.

  15. Slow Learner says:

    The only player that changes the other teams defense is Richards. We will live or die around big Nick

    1. Agreed. And Big Nick is awful

  16. BigolBlue says:

    He thinks he is Steph Curry. He tries to shoot so fast. I get it your release time is critical if you plan on making money playing pro if you need to make up for your lack of athleticism. He rushes everythi ng.

    1. syrin23 says:

      Cal has told him to speed up his release on his shot.

    2. Luether says:

      Like Devin Booker, he’ll figure it out…

  17. Middy says:

    Ideally the minimum shooting percentage for threes is 33.3%. Mathematically that’s equivalent to hitting 50% from inside the arc. Obviously we all want to see higher percentages and anyone who hits 40% or more is generally regarded as a knockdown shooter. As a fan and former player I can’t ever remember 2-5 from three being referenced as a bad night as this article states. In any case, shooter aren’t robots. Even Klay Thompson had a stretch of 16 games hitting only 31% from deep. Eventually the law of averages will play out and he’ll hit a hot streak. He just needs to keep shooting good looks. You never know when you’ll catch fire.

  18. bigblue98 says:

    We have a problem right now that I’m not sure can be fixed. Plain and simple, Herro is playing like a freshman. Not every kid can come in and be a star from the start. We have to develop some continuity and rely on upperclassmen. When we have a young team these guys are under tremendous pressure. If they don’t succeed right from the beginning they are perceived as failures, and some look to transfer. These guys can get better with more time. One only has to look at Charles Matthews at Michigan. He is an outstanding player this year. Just imagine if we had his experience and skill level on this team. I’m just not sure how we convince these kids they’re not failures if it doesn’t happen for them the first year.

    1. Jiminy Crickets says:

      Matthews and Wiltjer are bad examples. Both of those guys struggled at UK and both flourished when they left. Wiltjer was a player of the year candidate at Gonzaga, while Calipari basically put the NIT season on him and Harrow. Even Harrow flourished at GA St, averaging 20pts and 4assists. Only player to transfer from UK and not do better was Dotson. Marcus Lee even had a better season at Cal than he ever had at UK.

    2. J-Dub421 says:

      Harrow was a head case who couldn’t handle the spot light at UK. Of course he did better at GA ST, no one was watching him play and there was no pressure.

      Wiltjer always had a good offensive game. He looked good at Gonzaga because they played zone defense all the time which helped the rest of their team hide his terrible defense. Basically Wiltjer took the easier route and went to a place that wouldn’t make him play defense and where he could be the center of the offense. Wiltjer just wanted to shoot and didn’t want to work on his defense. This is why he’s now playing in Spain and will never be an NBA player. (Him being really slow is the other reason.)

      Matthews thought he was a one and done and was never going to be one. He was always a 3-4 year guy who would take time to develop. He was not being real with himself about that. Beilein is a good coach, but Matthews could have stayed at UK and done the same thing. He was just embarrassed he wasn’t a one and done like the rest of the guys in his class at UK.

  19. michaelb says:

    If the season keeps going like this I see a few transfers being put in .

  20. Jeff Sheppard was better but he had a better coach

  21. UKBlue1 says:

    One of Tyler problems at least when it comes to his shot is his conditioning. Tyler is having to do one thing now that he obviously didn’t do much of in high school being that he isn’t very good at it and that’s playing Defense. He’s now having to assert more energy trying to play Defense, and with his legs being tired he is more than likely not getting the lift in his legs that he’s used to having when shooting causing his shots to come up short. He’s also had problems adjusting to the speed of college in knowing when to & when not to take a shot.

    1. syrin23 says:

      This is a good point.

  22. katmandue2you says:

    Even when you guys say something accurate or correct you turn around and then say some of the stupidest shit I’ve ever heard

  23. Nolecat21 says:

    As a team they don’t shoot the ball well from 3. As a team they don’t defend the 3 well. Bad combo. The game has changed. You HAVE to be able to shoot the 3. Herro is already 10x’s the defender that Quade is with a year under his belt. They need to get better defensively as a team. Much more disciplined. Stop jumping at every ball fake. Learn how to switch versus trying and failing to fight through every screen. Herro’s shot is pure. Booker struggled out of the gate his freshman year as well. Had the luxury of a bunch of studs around him to pick him up. PJ needs to give more consistent effort. Not sure what makes him tick, but he doesn’t give consistent effort. He ended up with great numbers Sat even with pretty much disappearing for a portion of the game. He has the ability to be one of the more dominant players in the country, but doesn’t always play like it. This team does not move the ball well on offense either. Tired of hearing the youth excuse. Duke is starting four freshmen and they know how to move the ball.

  24. Larkin123 says:

    What would a shooting percentage be if he played for Coach K?

  25. John Henry says:

    KSR needs a whipping boy and the staff has found one.

    1. :Yeah, people that couldn’t throw a basketball into the Atlantic should get off his back; the other players, too.
      Recruits want to come to UK for this crap?

  26. Jiminy Crickets says:

    This is 2018. The accuracy of most KSR posts are also 27%

  27. Jiminy Crickets says:

    Calipari changed his shot, told him he couldn’t set his feet, needed to speed up his release. Cal said it in a press conference Herro needed to speed his shot. Now we see he’s still adjusting.

  28. 206Bones says:

    Still my favorite player. Thank you,

  29. CatinCO says:

    Tyler needs to improve his defense- particularly when the shots are not falling. On several long range shots, Tyler was falling backwards rather than going straight up. Did anyone else notice this?

  30. I thnk he just has a touch of slow white boy itus. Watch his high school games no super fast guards no imposing centers at the rim and most of the teams he played were good players just looked like the unathletic catholic league of america. Point being he was the best athlete and had time to set n get his shot off. He definently has stall in his shot. But i still say slow white boy itus a la ryan hogan jt haskins cameroon mills and jared polson . all really good shooters that had makor trouble getting thier shot off

  31. Aar says:

    Herro is simultaneously making numerous adjustments. Just like all of us, he needs time to integrate all of them. Cal’s messin’ with his shot. He’s learning Cal’s defense, He’s learning to work harder than ever before to get open on one end and defend for a full 30 on the the other. While his 3 isn’t falling, he’s finding other ways to help this team. Comparing his +/- to teammates, he’s earning his minutes. I’m looking forward to when he makes all of these adjustments and they show up in his 3 point shooting. He’ll get there by February.

  32. BLUEDOUG65 says:

    Cal does not run a true dribble drive most of the time . Cals teams that made runs all had elite guard and a rim protector. This team has neither but this team is going to improve. To what extent we will see . Hero is not a catch and release guy Maggie , that is incorrect . He is an in space driver that gets going by driving and hitting mid range shots that sets up his 3 . Jeff Shepherd was not better as a freshman than Herro . Herro will be a tremendous three or four year guy here . If he had a good offense he would be better . Cal is not a good offensive coach . He is a good defensive coach and this team will get better !

  33. BLUEDOUG65 says:

    And we will beat the cards . They are playing very close to the top of their ceiling . We are not . We will win that game by 5 !

  34. CopenhagenCat says:

    Herro is a ball hog. I rather have Quickly in. At least Quickly doesnt try to shoot it every time he gets it. Herro cant play defense. Of course no one on the team can

  35. DHBsr64 says:

    Give the kid a break! It’s not even mid-December.

  36. satcheluk says:

    Is he still Rex Jr, lol?

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