By LARRY VAUGHT
Jamal Murray has been shooting so well that going 8-for-14 from the field in Tuesday’s 82-48 victory over Georgia did not seem like a hot shooting night to him. He was also 6-for-10 from 3-point range.
So how did Murray play?
“Better. He’s getting better,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.
Then the UK coach made a statement that drew laughter in the media room but probably did not seem funny to others for obvious reasons.
“He had the one baseline flip, he could not help himself. It’s like crack cocaine; I’ve gotta do this. And he flipped it under, had no chance of making it. But he’s getting better,” Calipari said.
I have to think given a do-over, Calipari would not compare a bad shot to “crack cocaine” knowing the nation’s drug problem and how cocaine has caused heartache in so many families.
Calipari thought Murray, who had 35 points in Saturday’s win over Florida, could have scored more.
“He had two 3’s that he was casual on and I’m like, ‘Kid, you’re going to get two or three, four more baskets. Why would you not with five minutes to go, I was going to leave you in for another minute or two,'” Calipari said.
“But he’s trying. He’s getting better defensively.”
Murray said he’s finally hitting shots he should have been.
“I don’t really feel like I’m hot or anything. I’m just hitting timely baskets, hitting open shots that I should be making and just trying to get open,” Murray said.
He said not consistently making shots earlier in the season did frustrated him.
“I think that affected my game a little bit, just going so many games without hitting shots and knowing the team needs me to hit shots especially. Finally out of that slump, I hope, so just trying to keep my confidence up and keep my teammates involved because they’re energized, too,” Murray said.