The Kentucky Wildcats took the floor this past weekend for the Blue-White Game down in Pikeville, as fans are now prepping for the start of the regular season in two weeks.
To help usher in the new season, the program hosted their annual media day on Tuesday, and one returning player was a big topic of discussion for the Cats heading into this season.
Sahvir Wheeler, is going into his second season as the lead-guard in Lexington, and one of the big questions surrounding his game continues to be his jump-shot. Can he hit it consistently?
According to John Calipari, that is a conversation him and his point guard have had this offseason, and is a point of emphasis Wheeler has been working on ‘religiously’.
Calipari says he told PG Sahvir Wheeler "You gotta be guarded." Has to be respected by the defense, "or you can't be in there." Says Wheeler knows and has been religiously in the gym working on his shot.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) October 25, 2022
We saw Wheeler’s inability to knock down a jumper consistently hurt the Cats at the end of last season, as teams would leave him wide open on the perimeter. That caused not only the middle to clog up, but allowed other defenders to stick closer to shooters on last year's roster, including Kellan Grady and TyTy Washington.
That has to be different this season, and it is good to hear it is something he has been working on.
It also appears that Wheeler is getting coached up by one of the best point guards in the Calipari era, Tyler Ulis, who continues to rehab from an injury at UK while also working to help the current Cats improve their game.
Tyler Ulis is rehabbing at UK and taking some courses, Cal says. He's in the gym a lot. Helpful for a guy like Wheeler to learn from him. Cal told SW he has to be a guy who forces the defense to guard him, and he knows that. Spending a lot of time in the gym working on the J.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) October 25, 2022
Wheeler had his breakout moments last season, but if this team hopes to bring him No. 9 this season his game will have to be consistent each and every night out.
Sounds like he is working hard to make sure that happens.