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John Calipari keeping the bar high on three-point shooting

Calipari continues to stress this year’s team should be great from behind the arc.

Calipari Sea of Blue

Before the season tipped, head coach John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats were viewed as one of the better long-range shooting teams he’s put on the floor during his tenure in the Bluegrass.

However, with Jemarl Baker still on the bench due to injury and the Wildcats’ backcourt scrambling to figure out their roles, one would think that reaching said goal would come later in the season.

Through the first six games, that seems to be the case as Kentucky is tied for 201st in the country by shooting only 33% from behind the arc.

During his Monday call-in show, Calipari said he expects his team to be the best three-point shooting team he’s had at Kentucky. This comes after Calipari expressed frustration with the the three-ball following a 13-point win over Winthrop.

“This should be my best shooting team. I just don’t get it,” Calipari said. “Part of it is, as a high school player you get more time to get shots off, and you can line them up, where you can’t [in college]. You gotta catch and shoot.”

Here’s how Calipari’s Kentucky teams have finished over the last decade.

  • 2009-2010: T-166th (34.4%)
  • 2010-2011: T-14th (39.7%)
  • 2011-2012: T-34th (38%)
  • 2012-2013: 121st (34.9%)
  • 2013-2014: T-258th (32.6%)
  • 2014-2015: T-137th (35%)
  • 2015-2016: T-71st (36.9%)
  • 2016-2017: T-162nd (35.3%)
  • 2017-2018: T-130rd (35.8%)

Aside from the miracle-working 2013-2014 team that followed their eighth-seed path to the Championship game, this year’s bunch is on pace to be the worst three-point shooting team Calipari has had.

Early on, the Wildcats have used their height advantage in the paint to muscle their way to wins. However, looking ahead, Kentucky will need to lean on their outside shooting more as their competition increases.