With mask off, Makenzie Cann again playing like Makenzie Cann

Makenzie Cann (Victoria Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Makenzie Cann refused to use a broken nose — and having to wear a face mask to protect the nose — as an excuse. However, it seemed obvious the mask was changing the way she played.

Now the mask is gone and Cann’s play has picked back up going into tonight’s game at LSU.

“She always gives really great effort in practice. I think the mask was just a huge relief. I think it was just a constant bother. It was just hard to get out of her mind and I don’t think we can realize how difficult it is to play with that thing on. It was just very difficult to play,” Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said Wednesday.

“She hustled and gave us some great minutes. I don’t know if it’s the mask or not. Sometimes in the middle of the season, all of us can have these times. So, maybe it was the mask, maybe she just worked her way out of it.”

Mitchell said Cann never quit staying after practice for extra work. That’s why he said not having the mask might be not the full reason why her play picked back up

“She started the conference I think 1-for-11, and she’s not a 1-for-11 3-point shooter. Now she’s been close to 50 (percent) in the last two games and that’s much more like it,” Mitchell said.

“I think, for us to be successful, ultimately be the team we want to be, we’re asking her to shoot somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 percent from the 3-point line and she’s capable of doing that and once she does that it really lifts our team.”

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