Dakari Johnson went an absurd 12-of-14 from the stripe in Kentucky’s Tuesday win against UT Arlington, much better than his career 45 percent foul shooting entering that game. He was 12-of-25 on the year before finding the hot hand against the Mavericks.
In today’s pre-Providence press conference, Coach Cal was asked what happened to turn the poor shooting big man into Kyle Macy 2.0:
“Let me ask you, if he went for 12 for 14, that means he’s capable of that,” Cal told reporters. “So what gets in the way of him making 12 out of 14? It’s those six inches between his ears.”
Cal believes Dakari’s bad misses come when he’s thinking, ‘I may miss this one,’ when he needs to be shooting with confidence on every trip to the line.
“They weren’t bouncing around and in and swishing,” Cal said of Tuesday’s made shots. “But he’s capable now and he has to have his own confidence and demonstrated performance, which he has had. I say that to other guys on my team. I’ve said it for years.”
It will be interesting to see how Johnson responds on Sunday against Providence. If he has another impressive night at the foul line, do we dare say Dakari is a player we’re comfortable seeing at the line?