Three-point shooting plagues Cats in road losses


Tyler Ulis puts up a three in the face of Vanderbilt guard Matthew Fisher-Davis during the second half of the game against Vanderbilt on Saturday, February 27, 2016 in Nashville, TN. Photo by Cameron Sadler | Staff 

Winning on the road is always difficult in college basketball, but it gets even harder when the road team has trouble hitting shots from outside.

UK has problems not only hitting the deep ball, but also starts to depend on it too much when trailing on the road. That was the case in UK’s 74-62 loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday.

In their loss against against Vanderbilt the Cats shot 6-for-22 from behind the three-point line, with all six makes coming from freshman Jamal Murray. The rest of the team went 0-for-12 from three in the game.

When the shots weren’t falling in the second half and Vandy was able to take the lead, UK still deferred to taking shots from the three-point line with half of its field-goal attempt being threes in the second half.

UK’s preference to settle for the long shot may have been because of the lack of presence of UK’s front court players against the Commodores, but in all of UK’s road losses there is a trend of the team choosing not to take the ball inside. 

The team averages over 21 three-point attempts in its road losses. This is even more concerning when considering that UK has shot 33 percent from three in those game combined, helped greatly by the 10-for-20 performance on the road against Texas A&M.

If UK expects to win games on the road and later on in the tournament, it will need to stop hoisting up threes when down. A team that features guards like Tyler Ulis and Murray should have no problem getting into the lane even when UK’s inconsistent front court decides not to show up.

Getting Derek Willis back from injury can only help UK’s three-point struggles, but until then UK will need to start establishing an offense focused more on getting inside, and hope to see better production from its frontcourt players.