John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats are really enjoying their opportunity of sharing the rock so far this year.
Throwing out their shocking defeat at home by Evansville, Kentucky currently sits at 7-1 on the season and is the eighth-ranked team in the country. In those eight games, Kentucky is recording an assist on 56.7% of their baskets. They already have a pair of 20-assist games vs. Fairleigh Dickinson and Mount St. Mary’s.
With that specific rate on pace to be the highest ever during the John Calipari era, why this year?
The Wildcats, at least how they’re currently constructed, are without what one might call a “superstar.”
Yes, Tyrese Maxey has shown flashes of his potential to take over games but that has been rather inconsistent. Nick Richards has also blossomed early with his low-post scoring, but he too hasn’t exactly proven his ability to score the rock night in and night out over the course of an entire season.
But most important, Ashton Hagans has become a complete point guard, and one that is now focused on setting up his teammates as much as possible. He’s averaging 10.7 assists per game over his last three contests, as he’s becoming one of the best floor generals in all of college basketball.
So, considering the fact that Kentucky shares the ball more to than past teams to create easier shots, this has ultimately eluded to this year’s team being on pace for the historic mark.
It’s also a comforting sign for Kentucky’s assist rate to be so high, showing the Wildcats’ chemistry is considerably ahead of their matchup with Louisville as well as SEC play.