When you look at the numbers, Kentucky and Kansas are a lot alike. Both teams average more than 84 points a game, shoot 49% from the floor, snag 40 rebounds per game, and have tremendous backcourts. What’s the difference between the two, according to Calipari? Three-point percentage.
“We’re playing the top ranked team that has veteran guards, that understands their freshman are as good as any of our freshmen. They play inside out, Bill [Self] does a great job. They’re good. They drive the ball like we drive the ball; the difference is, they shoot 42% from the three. So, if you say, we’re gonna get in here – they make threes, that’s what they do.”
If you’re wondering, Kentucky is averaging 35% from three-point range right now, with Mychal Mulder and Malik Monk shooting a team-best 40% (actually, Jonny David is 100% from three, but has only attempted one this season).
While it sure would be nice if Kentucky could hit some more threes tomorrow, much more important is their passing. After lamenting about De’Aaron Fox’s “horrendous” decision making vs. Tennessee, Calipari was happy to see his team making better decisions yesterday in practice.
“They were good yesterday, they were really good. Again, if you demand a lot, you get a lot. If you accept mediocrity, you’re gonna get it every time. By us not passing the ball, they must have thought, that’s not what they’re demanding. Yesterday, we just did some things to make them pass and then they did some things just to pass. This is a simple thing. When a ball comes to you, you either shoot it, drive it – right away– pass it to the post, but don’t hold it. Don’t hold it. Just don’t hold the ball. You’ve got things you can do. Shoot it, drive it, post it! Don’t hold it. So that’s what we did yesterday and it looked better.”