Before this season started, there were a variety of answers to the question of who would be this team’s best player: most of us argued for Terrence Jones, while others ooh’d and ahh’d over Anthony “Auto-Lob” Davis. Some of us even made a case for the quiet warrior, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist; however, few of us predicted Doron Lamb would be the team’s best player so far. Sure, we knew Lamb was a great shooter with a three so pretty it has it’s own celebratory gesture, but he has emerged from this talented team’s shadows as a leading man, with more aggression, stamina, and vigor. The one person who saw this coming? John Calipari. Cal said that for those who know him, Lamb’s inspired play is hardly a surprise:
“The extra time that he’s spending on that basketball court before practice, after practice, you’re all seeing the benefit of it. You get what you deserve in basketball and in life. You want to spend that extra time, there’s going to be a result. It doesn’t happen in a day, but when you start linking days together, weeks together, months together, you start seeing it.”
Over the last two games, Lamb has scored fifty points. Last night against Samford, he was stellar, with a team-high 26 points off 8-12 shooting, including 4-6 from three land. Lamb attributes his success this season to hard work in the gym, something that he knew he needed after tiring late in games last season. When asked about his floater, the newest shot in his arsenal, Lamb said it was his mother who taught and encouraged him to develop it:
“I always had a floater when I was young, even when I was playing AAU basketball. It was one of my go-to moves. [My mother] taught me to do that when I was young. I used to always go to the rack and I would always get blocked and my mom told me to start shooting floaters over big guys.”
Lamb also credits his teammates for creating opportunities for him to score. Marquis Teague, whom many said Lamb should replace at point guard before Teague’s breakout half vs. Indiana, knows that no matter how he gets him the ball, Lamb will score.
“He can score in many different ways: pull-up jumpers, spot shooting, jumper, 3’s, he’s got a great floater game, he can get to the rim and he can knock down free throws. That makes my job real easy. I can just give him the ball and let him do what he does and know he’s going to put the ball into the hoop.”
You’ve gotta love that kind of confidence between a freshman point guard and sophomore shooting guard.
Keep it up, Doron.