After finishing the night with a full stat sheet, Sheppard became the star of social media. Even getting to a point of trending nationally on Twitter.
Perhaps the best reaction to his performance came from Jon Rothstein, who pointed out how Kentucky is plus-17.36 when Sheppard is on the floor in terms of box score +/-.
That puts him in the same company as Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson, who had all-time great seasons in that regard. Sheppard’s current pace would rank him second all-time in this statistic, which dates back to 2010-11, if the season ended today.
Kentucky is plus 17.36 with Reed Sheppard on the floor this season.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 29, 2023
By comparison, Kentucky was plus 17.24 with Anthony Davis on the floor during the 2011-12 season and Duke was plus 20.1 during the 2018-19 season with Zion Williamson on the floor.
A very polarizing figure to the BBN also chimed in on Sheppard’s game as well: Former Kentucky and Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino, who is now at St John’s.
I'm watching Reed Sheppard play n thinking of his Mom n Dad as if it were yesterday. Such a great experience for both of them. Absolutely wonderful people. Make it happen Reed!!!— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) November 29, 2023
Sheppard’s father, Jeff, played for Pitino up until Rick left Lexington in the 1998 season. With the family connections strong, it makes sense that the old ball coach would enjoy watching one of his former star player’s children shine on the biggest stage of college basketball as well.
Now coaching at St. John’s, Pitino is making a comeback into the big picture of the basketball world. With his team currently sitting at 4-2, will this finally be the year that the Red Storm returns to making some noise in the Big East? Going to be interesting to watch.
No matter what your thoughts on Pitino are, the overall opinion on Sheppard to this point is the same: He is legit and quite possibly the best player on the roster and in America to this point in the season.
Enjoy it while you can, BBN. This thing is trending toward Sheppard not being here long.