LEXINGTON, Ky. — Isaiah Briscoe knew he was due for a good shooting game.
The sophomore point guard typically gets his points the hard way in the paint, but Briscoe’s 3-point shot was a perfect 3 for 3 in Kentucky’s 100-58 stomping of Texas A&M. Aggies coach Billy Kennedy said if Briscoe shoots that way, Kentucky could be on a national title trajectory.
“When he is making shots, that’s what we gameplanned to live with,” Kennedy said. “When he’s doing that, they can win it all. I know Coach Cal doesn’t want to hear that, but when he’s a weapon offensively like he was today, I don’t know how you defend it.”
Briscoe’s thoughts on what Kennedy said: “Thanks. I appreciate it.”
Coming off a triple-double in his last game, Briscoe’s three treys were a career-high Tuesday night.
“I’ve just been working on my jump shot,” Briscoe said. “I know how hard I worked. I was due for a good shooting game. Today was one. I hope I got some more.”
The Wildcats shot 13 of 25 from behind the 3-point line against Texas A&M. One of the offense’s biggest weaknesses is slowing turning into a strength with the madness of Malik Monk, sniper Mychal Mulder off the bench and then the ability of Derek Willis and now Briscoe to heat up from distance.
Briscoe’s season mark of just over 40 percent from 3-point land isn’t head turning, but it is after he finished his freshman campaign as a 14 percent shooter from deep.
Briscoe is far from a surefire threat from three, but after Tuesday he’s trending in the right direction. Even if he’s not a go-to option for Kentucky beyond the arc, simply adding the shot to his arsenal is going to force teams to play him on the line. Once baited into the shot by opposing coaches, Briscoe is willing to take them now.
“Opens the court for everybody — and himself, too,” Monk said. “It’s great. He’s working every day, he’s staying after practice and coming before practice to shoot, so we can see it working.”
Briscoe has heard the “he can’t shoot” criticism in the past. It doesn’t seem to bother him anymore. He even seems to welcome it now.
“It’s all good,” Briscoe said. “Doing what I’ve gotta do, doing what I gotta do for my team to win. What people say, that don’t really bother me. It never did. They can say what they want. I’m just trying to help my team win.”