If you took a poll of UK fans right now, I tend think that De’Aaron Fox might be the biggest fan favorite on the team. We’ll see as the season progresses, but I think Fox might be UK’s best point guard under Calipari, even better than Wall or Ulis. I haven’t seen a college player so easily get to the basket and run the floor in transition better than Fox, and he has a very good assist to turnover ratio. Let’s not forget that Wall had a big problem with turnovers during his time at Kentucky. But for some reason, despite his effortless ability to get to the rim and finish, Fox seems to love to take the jump shot……without much success. I looked at the shot charts from every game this season and charted Fox’s shooting percentage from 10 feet out to the 3-point line and for 3-pointers and the numbers are not pretty:
Mid-range (10 feet to 3-point line)
Stephen F. Austin: 0-1
Michigan State: 1-4
Cleveland State: 2-5
Arizona State: 0-3
North Carolina: 1-5
TOTAL: 12-44 (27.3%)
Stephen F. Austin: 0-2
Michigan State: 0-2
Cleveland State: 0-2
Arizona State: 1-1
North Carolina: 0-2
TOTAL: 4-26 (15.4%)
A combined 16 of 70 on shots from 10 feet and longer for the season. That’s just a little bit above 22%. From inside 10 feet this season, Fox is 52 of 84 for 62%.
Now, the question is whether Fox taking mid-range shots is some part of the gameplan or just his belief in his shot. Could this be an example of Calipari “preparing a guy for the NBA”. Whatever the answer is, it’s clear at this point that jump shooting is not Fox’s strength and doesn’t always give UK the best chance to win. Against the Duquesne’s of the world, it doesn’t really matter. But against Michigan State, Arizona State, UCLA, North Carolina, and Louisville this season, Fox is just 8 for 35 from outside of 10 feet.
35 shots in 5 games against Power 5 schools, or an average of 7 shots per game outside of 10 feet, while just shooting 22% on those shots.
I am not the coach. I am not as smart as our coach. I’m sure there is an explanation on the strategy there. I would just like to know what it is.