UK susceptible to opponents’ three-point shooting

The past couple of games, UK’s opponents have been hitting threes at an uncharacteristically successful rate.

The last five games, teams shot a combined 48.9 percent from three.

“Either we’re helping teams play well, or they just know they’re playing us and are coming after it,” UK head coach John Calipari said.

Mississippi State was the latest team to ravage UK from the three-point line, making 12 of 22. Calipari said part of the problem was UK’s defense — leaving defenders open on blown rotations or going under screens instead of over the — and some of it was just MSU hitting its shots.

In the past five games, the lowest number of 3-point attempts was 16. Calipari maintained that any team chasing a victory from beyond the arc was engaging in a futile one.

“If teams are trying to beat us shooting threes, I think that’s fools gold,” Calipari said. “We’re usually a good defensive team on threes.”

The recent upsurge in opponent threes is reminiscent of last year’s beginning of the season, when multiple mid-major players had career days from behind the line and made critics question UK’s perimeter defense.

UK is again trying to find out the proper level of concern they should feel — and whether any adjustments need to be made.

“Maybe we should play zone and they can shoot 70 percent on threes,” Calipari said. “I don’t know.”