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Kentucky Basketball: What to expect from Tyler Herro

Herro is going to surprise a lot of people.

Kelly Kline

When John Calipari offered Tyler Herro a scholarship last fall there was a resounding, “huh?” from Big Blue Nation. He had been committed to Wisconsin, he only had four stars next to his name, and most fans had not heard of him.

But the more the Kentucky Wildcats faithful have paid attention, the more we have seen the Tyler Herro that the coaching staff was excited to sign in November.

Early assumptions were that Herro was recruited as a shooter. And make no mistake, he is definitely a perimeter threat. Many scouts have rated him as the top shooter in the class. He shot 40% from behind the three-point line his senior year in almost 200 attempts. That’s a lot of buckets.

As it turns out, Herro is much more than a three-point shooter. For starters, he has a next-level mid-range game. Often referred to as the lost art of basketball, one thing that most college players lack is a mid-range jump shot. That is a strength of Herro, and one that he continues to develop.

Of course, it is difficult to take jumpers unless you are open. Whereas many shooters rely on screens to create space, a major strength of Herro’s is creating his own shot. He is a strong ball-handler and surprising athleticism which allows him to drive into the pain, causing defenders to give him a step or two.

Original reports were that Herro will be a multi-year player that may contribute early off the bench but would have a larger impact long-term. Similar theories were presented about Devin Booker around two years before he dropped 70 points on the Boston Celtics.

ESPN’s Paul Biancardi would beg to differ, and told Jay Bilas on Kentucky Sports Radio that he thinks Herro will start from the get-go.

“Herro, he’s the shooter of this class in terms of making a three-point shot,” Biancardi said. “Great elevation and he’s, in my mind, got the best middle game coming into college. Inside the arc, outside the paint, this guy has a tremendous pull up game. He’s going to get Calipari buckets.”

His teammates agree that he is more of a shooter.

“Tyler’s a really good player,” said Immanuel Quickley at the McDonalds All-American Game. “He can shoot it, can defend. That’s a point guard’s dream.”

“Great player,” Keldon Johnson added. “Can create his own shot. And he’s tough. He’s just tough.”

Herro put his toughness on full display after being snubbed by the McDonalds All-American Game selection committee. He averaged 36.5 points per game after missing the cut, and went on to have great games in the Jordan Brand Classic and Iverson Classic.

You are going to love this guy, Big Blue Nation. Watch his senior mix-tape to get a taste of what he will bring to Rupp in a few months.