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John Calipari is fed up with Kentucky teams that can’t shoot

The 2017-18 Kentucky basketball team had scorers and shot-makers, but it’s obvious the Cats didn’t have any true knockdown shooters. The one they did have, Jemarl Baker, missed the entire season with a knee injury.

John Calipari knew before the season even began that it wouldn’t be one of his best shooting teams, which says a lot considering not many have been elite from beyond the arc.

And he was right.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the team shooting 40.4 percent from three, but he certainly wasn’t Kentucky’s biggest threat from deep. He never hit more than two threes in a single game and shot over three three-pointers just twice. Wenyen Gabriel wasn’t too far behind with a 39.6 percent clip, and that was with the help of a hot streak to finish the season, including his seven-for-seven performance in the SEC Tournament. Quade Green shot 37.6 percent from three, Kevin Knox shot 34 percent, etc. As a team, they shot just 35.7 percent on the year.

To make matters worse, for the first time in nearly 30 years, Kentucky failed to make a three-pointer in a single game. The epic streak was broken, and it surprised no one this was the team to end it.

And John Calipari is tired of dealing with it.

“Last year that hurt us,” Calipari told the Courier-Journal and other media at his satellite camp in Union, KY. “My first year, 2010, should have won a national title that year but we go (4 for 32) in a game from the three-point line. You can’t win a game like that. This has become a hit-or-miss league: If you make it you win; if you miss it you lose.”

From now on, Coach Cal says he will put together teams that can shoot at every position, and he thinks he has that this year.

“I want to have everyone on the court that can shoot the ball,” Calipari said. “You’ve got to be honest, you’ve got to play them. Anytime you’re playing against a team where they’re playing off of one person it’s hard. How about two? And we’ve had sometimes when they played off three.”

“You’re talking all our guys, (even) our big guys,” Calipari continued. “So yeah, I’m excited about this team in that regard.”

Quade Green, Jemarl Baker, Immanuel Quickley, and Tyler Herro, they can all shoot well. PJ Washington has improved his jump shot and EJ Montgomery saw a massive growth spurt a la Anthony Davis in high school, so he still has guard skills (including a solid jumper). If the Cats get Reid Travis, they have another guy that can knock down open jumpers, as well.

They’ll struggle a bit shooting with Ashton Hagans, Keldon Johnson, and (to a much greater extent) Nick Richards, but Cal absolutely has the tools necessary to put shooters in position to hit shots.

You can read the rest of Calipari’s interview with Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal here.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

10 Comments for John Calipari is fed up with Kentucky teams that can’t shoot

  1. Cmart0907
    9:58 pm June 8, 2018 Permalink

    Took him long enough to realize you need shooters. Most of these kids are athletes.

    • Blublood41
      10:19 pm June 8, 2018 Permalink

      Yep, finally seen the light

    • Cmart0907
      10:41 pm June 8, 2018 Permalink

      ^^ It doesn’t help lol. Hami is a prime example. But most of these kids are lacking basic basketball fundamentals. No real coaching. They just use their talent to win games in h.s. But when they get to college. The talent level is the same. And they struggle mightily. But Cal had 1.5 years with Hami. His hype was outrageous. We was highly disappointed. Cal won’t change his coaching ways to adapt to certain players game. If they don’t work in his “system” they’re automatically failures.

  2. terwilliger
    10:23 pm June 8, 2018 Permalink

    I love Cal but I have to laugh at this. The fans have been asking him to recruit more shooters and not just athletes for years. Oh well… better late than never I guess.

  3. kjd
    10:32 pm June 8, 2018 Permalink

    Slow learner.
    Athletes work in football. Shooters win ya b-ball titles.

  4. mashburnfan1
    10:34 pm June 8, 2018 Permalink

    And if as Coach you know you don’t have shooters why the hell would you let them shoot 32 threes in a game? But we were athletic I’m sure, that is what he always went after. Diallo is a prime example, dude can’t shoot, dribble, pass but he could jump. How much help was that?

  5. bluecrowe
    11:41 pm June 8, 2018 Permalink

    basketball players …not athletes. What we have proven is the athlete does not win Championships. We could have had any shooter we wanted with Cal and yet….

  6. CombatMedic_98
    11:57 pm June 8, 2018 Permalink

    We got beat by shooters…wow!

  7. ukkatzfan
    12:58 am June 9, 2018 Permalink

    To borrow a word from a great mind…. SWISH !!!

  8. TBW3011
    9:19 am June 10, 2018 Permalink

    Cal just figuring this out is embarrassing really.