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Analytics show Kentucky’s shooters take some of the worst shots in college basketball

Bad shooters + worse shots = a 5-10 start for Kentucky Basketball.

As much as we love advanced analytics, at times they make us want to forget this season even exists. The shooting woes for the Wildcats this year have been well-documented and it’s culminating into one of the worst stretches of UK hoops across program history. But Kentucky’s inability to score the ball consistently is even worse than you might have thought.

According to a pair of graphics posted to Twitter by @5th_Factor, Kentucky’s shooters are taking some of the worst shots in college basketball despite already grading out as one of the worst shooting teams in the country. Keep in mind, the ‘Cats rank 314th in all of Divison I with a 29.2 percent 3-point shooting clip.


According to the chart, Kentucky is a team full of bad shooters taking bad shots. The figures are based on a player’s shooting ability combined with their shot selection. The numbers were calculated through /ncaahoopR, which is a database that scrapes play-by-play data and returns it to the user in a tidy format. Essentially, this graphic says what the Big Blue Nation has already been told over and over again: “Kentucky has shooters, not makers.”

Top-ranked teams such as Gonzaga, Baylor, and Michigan are, unsurprisingly, labeled as having good shooters who take good shots. Some of Kentucky’s rivals, such as Tennessee and Louisville, rank as having good shooters but ones who take bad shots. The Duke Blue Devils are literally smack dab in the middle of the chart.

Looking at the shooting zones, it would appear that Kentucky does have success from one area of the floor: the right-side corner.

That little area of green specs is the spot on the court where Kentucky apparently takes its best shot attempts. When stepping back and analyzing this season, the numbers make sense. The Wildcats have consistently attempted long-2s and contested jumpers all year which has been combined with a lack of strength and finishing ability when attacking the rim.

There’s still nine games left to try and turn the ship around.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

23 Comments for Analytics show Kentucky’s shooters take some of the worst shots in college basketball

  1. mashman 93
    9:11 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

    Show that graph to Cal somebody please!!!! Don’t we have 10 games left with a makeup game vs South Carolina?

    • Nokneeling
      9:52 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

      Cal is so busy watching his players kneel that he doesn’t have time for such mundane stuff as having them shoot the basketball.

    • mashman 93
      10:20 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink


    • UK Big Board Update
      12:06 pm February 3, 2021 Permalink

      Cal should have his players beat cops (Back The Blue!) with American flags before the next game since yall don’t have a problem with that.

  2. WKY Cat
    10:04 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

    I’m waiting for the Cal apologists to say Cal can’t control his players decisions to take bad shots.

  3. just a guy
    10:21 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

    So cal isnt responsible for the talent evaluations, not his fault when guys miss shots, out his control when they take bad shots, and he can’t help it when players just don’t execute. So my question is.. what exactly is he responsible for?

    While the coach doesn’t shoot it, taking guys out of the game that repeatedly shoot 20ft contested 2s IS his responsibility.

    • millertim
      10:52 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

      Yep, Coach Cal is having a bad year. What’s the old saying about adversity reveals your true character… anyone can look good during good times of prosperity but what is the essence of the man’s character in adversity???

  4. Lip Man 1
    11:13 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

    Just a Guy: I’m guessing he thinks he’s responsible for “branding” his program and his players. Guess nine million a year doesn’t involve as much work as it used to.

    Oh that and not giving a straight answer anymore to questions in press conferences instead going off on tangents, talking in circles and not making much sense anymore.

  5. Tom Bombadil
    3:16 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

    This is totally on Coach Cal. Did you hear his pre Mizzou press conference? He said he had to stop practice 10 times and ask why they passed up a shot. He is so full of himself this year. The best teams pass the ball for good shot attempt. Everyone’s noticed they get 7 assists a game to go along with 19 turnovers. The guys are trying to do too much by themselves individually. When they try to work the ball around he stops the practice to yell at them for passing up shots. DUMPSTER FIRE! That’s what those analytics show…. THANKS COACH!! Kentucky the worst shot selection and the worst shooters in all of basketball

  6. Tom Bombadil
    3:39 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

    If you follow that Twitter feed you will find a graphic from the same company from last year of who in all of college basketball last year took the most long two-point shots per game. Kentucky has four Representatives…. EJ Montgomery was tops followed by keion Brooks, Kahlil Whitney, and Johnny juzang. All of this is on Coach Calipari. He will stop practice and yell at you if you try to pass the ball

  7. Drogon
    3:50 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

    Please keep kneeling. I love when the racist bit**** hide behind the Anthem and cry about it like that NoKneeling guy.

    • stx1968
      7:17 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

      Rather be called a racist by losers on the internet than live on my knees in deference to criminals.

  8. HackRichards
    6:36 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

    TOO LAZY to try to get open for the most part.

  9. Trinity45
    8:08 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

    That is on Cal, hell he even said in a press conference that if Boston was missing the 3 to take a couple of steps in and shot that shot, which percentage wise is not that much better and when you factor 3 for 2 even worse.

  10. millertim
    8:14 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

    Uhhh Zach, why do you have a picture of Allen shooting under the headline of bad shot selection??? He’s the only one that takes good shots… if you want a “poster boy” for your bad shot headline, show one of Boston’s double pump toss ups or his infamous flip shots!

  11. panicpat
    8:45 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

    Millertime is spot on. Cal and KSR have a love affair with Boston that I can’t figure out. Call it like it is. The guy is way way overrated.

  12. runningunnin.454
    9:16 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

    Did we really need the analytics or this article? We have eyes.

  13. dave1964
    9:16 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

    Seriously no one needs a professional analytics to see this anyone with half a brain and a IQ above 1 can see this team can’t move the ball and the biggest JOKE on the team is Boston with his ball hog shot selection. But this is completely on Cal he allows it to continue it’s past time for excuses.

  14. VirginiaCat
    9:37 am February 3, 2021 Permalink

    Cal has trouble organizing his thoughts. Just listen to him talk or read a transcript of his comments. He is all over the place and that is how he coaches. He confuses his players and confuses himself. Ready, shoot, aim kind of guy.

  15. bluecrowe
    3:36 pm February 3, 2021 Permalink

    Cal has never expressed himself well. He always sounds slightly insane. That is just how he expresses himself. I think he understands more than he is able to communicate verbally. This does however make his press conferences sound as though he is either messing with us or does not understand basketball or the English language.

  16. Looother
    5:45 pm February 3, 2021 Permalink

    The kneeling Cats are just doing what they are coached to do by Cal – taking bad shots…

  17. theweeze
    4:17 pm February 5, 2021 Permalink

    If Boston and Askew would sit for long periods I think the team would benefit more and play a decent game. Boston is a train wreck and Askew is NOT a PG right now. Sit those two and Cal for the love of all QUIT YOUR CONSTANT YELLING, SCREAMING and STOMPING along the sideline! You look a fool and it makes UK look a fool! Call a play, sit down and stfu!