Kentucky basketball: When game is on the line, ball should be in this Cat’s hands
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We got a couple of similar UK basketball questions, so I’ll answer both. First, from John Spalding: Who’s the certified stat-sheet stuffer in this group?
I’m going to go with Kevin Knox. He had 22 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist in the Blue-White scrimmage and I think he can do a lot more defensively. He’s a great bet to lead Kentucky in scoring this season and should be a dependable rebounder.
The 6-foot-9 Knox, a McDonald’s All-American with a 7-foot wingspan, averaged 28.5 points and 11.3 rebounds as a senior in high school. He once score 55 in a game and can do a little bit of everything. He even sank a 3-pointer in the scrimmage and some have said he could be UK’s best outside shooter.
Which leads us to Branden Hart’s question: Last-second shot. Who takes it?
Again, I think it’s Knox. You could make an argument for freshman point guard Quade Green, who sank three 3-pointers in the scrimmage and has that mental makeup of a guy who wants the ball with the game on the line.
I watched Green score eight of his 26 points in the final 90 seconds of a Peach Jam game two summers ago — he hit 10 of 15 shots, had 8 assists, 3 steals and only 2 turnovers that night on the way to making the championship game — and he had this to say afterward:
“At times I’ll be the passer. When crunch time comes, that’s when my scoring ability comes out. Know when to pass, know when to score, know when to get your teammates involved, know when not to take bad shots.”
That’s exactly how you want your point guard thinking. Still, depending on the situation, Knox can score in more ways. And his size means he’ll likely get a much cleaner look and be far less likely to get blocked than the 6-foot Green.
KENTUCKY INSIDER: Temper your expectations of these young Cats early