All this season, we have been told to be patient and to respect the process. Against Tennessee, we were rewarded with banner games by Andrew Harrison and stellar free throw shooting. And that is how the rest of this season will be. Some players will step up on any given game and we will see things that we have not seen all year. Dakari Johnson is one player to keep an eye on the rest of the year. And we can expect to see James Young’s shooting stroke to show up. I know part of it is shot selection, but James Young is too good a shooter to be shooting 38.6% on the year.
Young has been up and down through the season. After going three of nine from the floor against Tennessee, he’s shooting 38.6 percent for the year. Monday, he said hes been working on his technique. “Really just keeping my shoulders forward like I have been.” said Young. “I’ve been struggling a lot, jumping off one foot or whatever and landing on one foot. So just getting my technique right and getting back to form.”
Young said he has the green light from coach John Calipari and he’ll keep shooting. Assistant coach John Robic says it’ll take some work. “Getting in the gym and practice. The big thing with James is having his shoulders, keeping them, not getting them back. He’s a good shooter, I mean I know he’s not shooting at the percentage that he would like but he’s putting the ball in the basket.”
Robic said Young’s style reminds him of a former player. “He’s just creative. He reminds me of the kid we had at Memphis, Chris Douglas Roberts. Just a little unorthodox, it doesn’t look like it’s going in but somehow it finds a way to go in. And we have all the confidence in the world for him.”
So if Young can start shooting at even a 45% clip the rest of the way and if UK can eliminate these slow starts … well then we may have something here. It seems that even the coaching staff has no answer for these slow starts.
No. 14 Kentucky (13-4, 3-1 Southeastern Conference), which hosts Texas A&M (12-5, 3-1) Tuesday night, has been outscored 31-6 in the first two minutes by its past six opponents and has not led after five minutes in any of those games. The Cats trailed five of those teams by at least eight points in the first half and needed an average of 12 minutes and 26 seconds to take their first lead.
Assistant coach John Robic, who handled Calipari’s press conference Monday while the boss was out on the road recruiting, sounds just as confounded as fans about why such an otherwise good team is so bad at to begin games.
“If we had the answer to that question, we’d be good,” Robic said. “It seems like we’re ready to play. Pregame warm-ups have been really good.”
He said UK looked sharp in its shoot-around Saturday morning before the Tennessee game, then the Cats clanked their way into another early deficit. They hit just 2 of 10 shots to start and fell behind 9-2 and eventually 22-13 before scratching their way back for a win.
“We thought we were ready,” Robic said, but in retrospect: “I don’t think that they were prepared, themselves, enough for how physical the game was going to be. That’s something that you really can’t simulate.”
John Robic covered Cal at the press conferences yesterday because Calipari was recruiting. Calipari was watching Rashad Vaughn and Kentucky will definitely be getting a visit from Vaughn in the future and it appears that Vaughn may be down to a Final Four.
Rashad Vaughn returned from a knee injury Monday and scored 12 points in front of UK Coach John Calipari in Findlay Prep’s 73-43 victory over Wesleyan Christian (N.C.) at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
Vaughn — a five-star shooting guard in the Class of 2014 — had missed the last six games with a sore left knee.
Before Monday’s game, Vaughn told Scout.com’s Evan Daniels that he will “definitely” take an official visit to Kentucky and is still in the process of scheduling the date for that trip. He’s set to visit North Carolina next month and has already taken official visits to Iowa State and UNLV.
Vaughn also said that he is unlikely to visit Kansas, which is his fifth finalist. That means his decision is likely to come down to UK, UNC, UNLV and Iowa State.