Outside of Nate Sestina, Kentucky’s shooting woes continued today. Sestina hit five of the Cats’ seven threes in the loss to Ohio State, while guards Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley were a combined 2-11 from beyond the arc. Afterwards, John Calipari once again said he believes this is a good shooting team and the problem is all mental.
“I’m not spending much time on it. We’re just taking a lot of shots. And we chart every shot. And at some point, you say, fall back on your training. You made 60 in five minutes. You made 67 in five minutes. You can’t make them when they’re wide open? But I think I’ve got a good shooting team. Thank goodness for Nate today.”
In the past five games, Maxey is 2-20 from the outside, Quickley 5-20. Calipari said he’s encouraging his guys to clear their minds before they shoot and fall back on their training. He claimed at yesterday’s practice, the team hit 50 threes.
“At one point I was trying to get them to just say one word in your mind when you go to shoot it. Straight. Straight. Straight. Because if you’re thinking straight you can’t think I’m going to miss this too. I’m missing this, oh my God. So you just, then that worked a little bit. And then I was like, well, if there’s another word that will make you feel good before you shoot, say that word. Maybe it was a high school team you got 40 against. “Saint Alysosis” and then shoot it. Because the mentality of shooting, you cannot be afraid if you miss one or two, then pass on the next three, because you kill your team. But if I miss five in a row I’m embarrassed. Excuse me? Get in the gym then. The one way is get in the gym and master your craft.”
“They’re like — and then — and it’s not just missing, it’s hard right. You hear what I’m saying? It’s not di, di, di. No, it’s, like boom, boom, zing. I mean that’s what it is. So I just think, again, the toughness of playing here, got to be tough, got to be a dog.”