One of the hottest hot topics in Big Blue Nation is Kentucky’s 3-point shooting on the road versus its inability to make the deep ball at home. After going 2-for-22 on 3-point tries in Rupp Arena this past Saturday, our friends at Big Blue History sparked the conversation with this bizarre stat comparison of home/away 3-point shooting this season:
Kentucky this season has shot 24.4% from 3-point range at home vs. SEC opponents & shot 43.4% on road vs. SEC opponents.
Since adoption of 3-pt shot in 1986-87, this is lowest % they’ve ever shot at home & highest % they’ve ever shot in road vs. SEC. pic.twitter.com/WHRcVx7aon
— bigbluehistory (@bigbluehistory) February 16, 2020
When asked how the same team could be historically good on the road and historically bad at home, Tony Barbee, who filled in for John Calipari in the Monday basketball press conference, would only say, “Do you have an answer for me? Because I don’t have one.”
To a follow-up question asking why Kentucky doesn’t practice in Rupp Arena, a common complaint among the fan base and radio shows like ours, Barbee said, “I don’t think it matters. When you look at Cal’s win-loss record over the course of 10 years, it’s hard to argue about the success in that arena. The rims are 10 foot, the court’s the same length and the basketball has the same amount of air in it. No matter the background, you gotta get results at the end of the day. We’re getting them on the road, we gotta figure out how to get them at home.”
He does not want to hear anything about sightlines or the openness of Rupp Arena having a negative impact on the home team, either.
“I was a shooter,” Barbee said. “When I hear those arguments from our guys, those are the arguments of non-shooters. Everywhere we play, somebody’s got a different ball; there’s a Nike ball here or it’s Under Armour ball here or an Adidas ball here or a Wilson ball there. The nets might be tighter, looser; the rims are a different color of orange. You can either shoot the ball or you can’t, it doesn’t matter the background.”
Whatever the case — home, road, Nike ball, Adidas ball, big gym, small gym — it is wild that Kentucky shoots 24.4% at home and 43.4% on the road.
Let’s hear those theories as to why that is…