I was taking a look at Kentucky’s basketball roster recently and was curious to know if any other programs have two different coaches sons on the roster. That I am still uncertain of, but the curiosity did lead me to another interesting question surrounding UK’s current walk-on players.
Who will score more points this season between Brad Calipari and Jonny David?
While completely irrelevant, the question also provides some fun debate material.
There will be several factors that will play a role in the chance of a walk-on to score some points in 2018-2019. The most important component will be the Cats ability to blow teams out.
Without a big lead, I think it’s safe to say that neither of the walk-ons will be seeing many game minutes, especially considering that Kentucky is so loaded at each position that platooning has even been discussed once again.
Another component will be the walk-on players ability to hit clutch shots. I know what you’re thinking, a walk on is not going to be shooting any “clutch” shots. This is likely true in regards to the outcome of a game but with such limited attempts on the season, you have to assume EVERY shot for a walk-on is a clutch shot, at least in their eyes.
You know that they will be feeling the pressure every single time they get to hoist up a game shot in Rupp Arena or on the road. So, the guys will have to be ready whenever they are called upon and not get flustered.
“SHOOT! BRAD SHOOT! SHOOT IT!” We all have heard the Rupp arena crowd berate Brad Calipari to shoot from the second he checks in the game until the final horn blows. This unfair and probably unwanted encouragement likely played a role in him only hitting 14% of his three point attempts last season.
Calipari is known to be a knockdown shooter from his time spent the MacDuffie School, and all indications from team practice reports. He actually shot a ridiculous 47% from three in his senior year of school. Calipari also had a great showing on a recent European trip with Global Sports Academy, where he averaged 14 points and 7 assists per game.
On the flip side, Calipari has only played a total of 73 minutes in his two years at Kentucky and accumulated just 11 points in his career while shooting 3-20. Brad Calipari will need to knock down his three point attempts and make sure he shoots only quality shots if he wants to improve on his stats this season. Don’t listen to the Rupp Arena crowd, Brad!
Calipari was able to knock down one of Kentucky’s two three-point shots in Game 1 of the Big Blue Bahamas tour. If the team’s shooting woes continue, he may be called upon more than we thought to play some minutes.
Brad Calipari gets the friendly bounce on the 3 pointer. pic.twitter.com/PnV9Qgk849— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 9, 2018
It seems like Jonny David has been on the roster at UK for 15 years. I guess we just aren’t used to seeing four-year players since John Calipari arrived. David will be entering his senior year with 7 total career points. He failed to score all of last season after only playing 4 total minutes.
UK just did not beat many teams down last season which impacted David’s chances to ever get on the court. With a senior night start likely in his future, it may afford David the opportunity to make a big play in a meaningful game.
Every time I have been at a live event, I have noticed the relentless effort that David puts in. I will be rooting for him to have a great final year at UK and leave with a lasting memory or two. The Big Blue Nation is rooting for you, Jonny!
David got in on the Bahamas action and dropped a sweet And1 in Kentucky’s final game of the tour.
Jonny David with the and-1 bucket to put an exclamation point on this trip. pic.twitter.com/hgHEhIYyqG— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) August 12, 2018
Jonny David helping run drills, looks like he could be a coach someday. It's almost like it's in his blood. pic.twitter.com/Oo2TEpHaAF— Big Blue Express (@bigbluexpress) August 7, 2018
Zan Payne (medical redshirt)
Zan Payne is the son of assistant coach Kenny Payne, and comes to Kentucky via Lexington Catholic High School where he scored 1,282 points. He is considerably bigger than the other walk-ons, currently listed at 6’4 225 pounds. But Payne will use a medical redshirt in his freshman season, so he will not see any game action this year.
If Zan Payne was available this season, I believe he would be my pick to score the most points. Since he will not be playing this season, I will have to choose from either Jonny David or Brad Calipari.
My head is saying to choose Calipari, because he is such a fan favorite and surely isn’t shy to shoot the ball. But I am going to go with my heart and say that Jonny David will lead the walk ons in scoring this year. As a senior, I hope he gets a chance to jack up some shots and ideally see a few of them fall.
It is easy to forget about the walk on guys who help the team prepare and develop each and every day. David and Calipari are surely working as hard as anyone and will still play a role in the success of the team.