Even though he led the SEC in assists and being named Second-Team All-SEC, many fans were discouraged when they saw his shooting numbers.
However, the coaching staff is not concerned with the fact that Wheeler shot just 22% from three last season.
On Wednesday, assistant coach Orlando Antigua made an appearance on Kentucky Roll Call where he discussed Wheeler and his shooting.
“We’re going to put him in positions to be at his best and we’re going to challenge him to grow in those areas,” Antigua said.
“We watched a lot of film on him, and oftentimes, he had to take some shots that were tough, difficult, because he was one of the players that could get his shot off. When you add other pieces around him that can space the court that are really good, then the quality of shooting becomes better,” Antigua stated.
“We hope to help him identify great shots so that his percentages are up, and that’s part of the conversation and part of the growing that we’ll be doing here over the summer.”
Wheeler was THE guy for Georgia last season. But as a freshman, his three-point percentage was 10 points higher when he shared the floor with eventual No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards.
With the additions of Kellan Grady, CJ Fredrick, and TyTy Washington as well as the return of Dontaie Allen, Wheeler isn’t going to be relied on as a three-point shooter. Kentucky needs him to get them the ball in positions to score, and that’s what he does the best.
Antigua also believes that Wheeler and Washington will be sharing the point guard duties in Lexington.
“A kid that’s tough mentally, that can get in the lane, that can cause havoc defensively. I think those are areas that we’re going to challenge him on, help him grow and being able to put other really good pieces around him,” he said.
“Being able to have another really good guard that can handle the ball in TyTy that can allow TyTy to rebound the ball and get out ahead to Sahvir where Sahvir can attack and vice versa. They can play with one another and off of each other.”
Last season, we saw the Kentucky Wildcats struggle a lot without a point guard that could get to the rim and create for others. The additions of Wheeler and Washington should alleviate that problem next season. On top of that, they are surrounded by sharpshooters.