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Calipari sometimes gets mad when Julius Mays is not shooting outside shots

Julius Mays lets a 3 fly in the win over Tennessee. (Clay Jackson photo)

Julius Mays lets a 3 fly in the win over Tennessee. (Clay Jackson photo)


With Kentucky clinging to a narrow lead Tuesday, senior Julius Mays hit perhaps his two biggest 3-point shots of the season in the final 5 minutes, 4 seconds.

Mays’ first trey put UK ahead 61-56 and his second one less than a minute later made it 64-58 and helped UK go on to beat Tennessee 75-65.

“The thing is, I get mad when he’s catching the ball at the 3-point line and the guy is in the lane and he doesn’t shoot it,” said Kentucky coach John Calipari. “Literally the guy has a foot in the lane running at it, but he’s in the lane. You caught it, you have to get it off and shoot it. Or, if he thrives in a dead run that way at you; not running at you, he just jumps that way at you, then you should one-dribble pull-up.

“But see, you have to understand now, his assist-to-turnover ratio may be one of the best in the NCAA.”

Mays took only three 3-point tries and for only the second time this season made more 3-point shots than he missed in a game. After suffering through a horrendous slump, he’s now 4-for-9 from 3-point range the last two games.

He had one assist and one turnover against the Vols. For the season, he has 51 assists and 17 turnovers,a 3-to-1 assist/turnover ratio that is the best on the game.

“My thing to him is when you drive, drive to pass. Don’t drive to score, you’re not big enough,” Calipari said. “You’re not athletic enough. Shoot the 3, one dribble pull-up, or drive to pass. Remember against Texas A&M, he drove and he shot it, with Archie (Goodwin) in the wide-open corner. Those are all the things that I keep saying, you have to buy into how we are telling you to play. This is how we are telling you to play and you’re not doing it, so you’re not bought in.

“The trust I’m telling you about with these guys, unless everybody’s doing what they are supposed to, you don’t trust each other. This guy, we all know what he’s supposed to do, but he’s not doing it. Well, how can I trust him? Now I worry about myself. Now he can’t trust me, and then you look like a team that doesn’t trust each other.”

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  1. Jim

    Mays has wilted in a lot of games, where he has passed up wide open shots. Wiltjer has as well. Those two are supposed to be UK’s top three point threats. Passing up open shots in games kills a team.

  2. grant

    I just wish Julius had a bit of a quicker shot, their seems to be alot of moving parts when he rises and fires. After running around the court the whole game where stamina and legs might come in to question , the harder i would assume it is to get off such a physical shot.


    When you add up all these little points that Cal is trying to get each player to accept about themselves, you can see where this team could really come together…just sitting back and watching if they will choose to do it keeps me captivated. Who’s going to put team first, and who is going to continue to resist giving his best always makes for great controversy.

  4. King Ghidora

    I have to bring up what I think was one of the most brilliant pieces of coaching I ever heard of even though it came from that guy who jumped over the dark side. “Shoot or transfer” was stunningly brilliant IMO. Players have to win the games. They can’t play not to lose. UK has had too many coaches that coached not to lose and it hurt a lot of players. You’ll only ever be great if you believe in yourself and it takes great players to win it all. I look back at last year and all the guys who wouldn’t even think of hesitating on an open shot or even hesitating to take a shot where they weren’t open. I think of all the times Miller put the team on his back and got them going just by taking the tough shot when someone had to do it. Those are the things that win championships. And UK’s players have to know they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t good enough to hit an open 3 often enough. So chuck that ball up there son and we’ll clap if you make it or miss it. At least I will. I admire the courage it takes just to take the big shots.

    1. King Ghidora

      That should be “to the dark side”.

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