A fun moment after Kentucky’s 87-74 win over Winthrop featured John Calipari calling freshman guard Tyler Herro the worst passer he’s ever coached.
Herro finished with 15 points with three made three-pointers, but finished with a team-high (and career high) seven assists.
Calipari was surprised.
“That was surprisng,” Calipari said. “I said, ‘For the worst passer I’ve ever coached in my history to have seven assists that’s an amazing accomplishment.’ He said he’s not that bad of a passer.
“… He did good today.”
Herro said the joke started when the two were watching film and reviewing a turnover when Herro threw a ball well behind a teammate and it sailed out of bounds.
“He said one day in film that I was the worst passer that he ever recruited,” Herro said. “I think I turned it over one time. Someone was wide open and I threw it way behind him and he said I was the worst passer he’s ever coached.”
When getting serious Herro thought he did a better job sharing the ball tonight.
“I think it was alright,” Herro said. “I think the guys were just open in the right position and I made the right play. They made shots, finished lobs or finished inside, whatever it was.”
Herro’s teammate, Keldon Johnson, disagrees with his head coach’s sentiment that Herro is a bad passer. One nice pass from Herro led to a three-pointer for Johnson.
“I think he passes the ball pretty well,” Johnson said. “He gave me a good pass today and I shot a three and made it. I think they pick at him a little bit but to me I think he’s a pretty good passer.”
Feeling a little bit more comfortable after recalling his assist to Johnson, Herro went as far as saying he was the best passer while cracking a smile.
“I’m the best passer,” Herro said.
That’s where Johnson vehemently disagreed.
“I don’t know about that, I don’t know about all that,” Johnson said.
While folks were having fun ripping on Herro and the Wisconsin native playfully defending himself it could have been a completely different story. Herro went to the locker room in the first half after hurting his knee. He returned minutes later but Herro thought it could have been a season-ending injury.
“Honestly, I thought I tore something because it hurt really bad,” Herro said. “It was just a weird fall. I put some ice on it and I was good. I already tore my meniscus in this knee and I thought I did it again.”
Herro said when he landed on his knee it buckled forward and he “kinda” hyper-extended it. When he went in the locker room the doctor told him he was fine.
That’s when Herro knew he could return.
“I went back out there, stretched and I was good,” Herro said.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 21, 2018