“It can’t rain forever.” Davion Mintz relishes in improved shooting


Kentucky Wildcats guard Davion Mintz (10) puts the ball up during the UK vs Georgia men’s basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 92-77. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Hunter Shelton

“It can’t rain forever; the sun has to come out eventually.” 

Davion Mintz has been waiting for his shot to fall this season.  

After returning from a 10-day quarantine, the graduate student has had trouble seeing the long ball go through the basket, shooting just 27 percent from 3-point range coming into Kentucky’s game against LSU on Jan. 4 

Fast forward through two games, and Mintz has knocked down eight 3-pointers in 15 attempts. Saturday night in Rupp Arena saw Mintz connect on five shots from beyond the arch, as the guard finished with 19 points against Georgia.  

“It felt amazing,” Mintz said about his performance. “It had to pay off, I have been working my tail off every day, every night, getting extra shots. Just working tirelessly.” 

It’s no surprise that Mintz’s fortune took a turn for the better. In a media scrum before the LSU game, Mintz told the media that he was “not discouraged at all,” regarding his shooting this season.  

“It’s just one of those things, you’re practicing every day, you’re trying to stay consistent, but sometimes that’s just how the ball falls. So I’m super excited to come out and know that I have another chance every other game to find my rhythm again,” Mintz said. 

After settling into his bench role, UK head coach John Calipari called upon Mintz to play a bigger role for the Cats due to the absence of point guard Sahvir Wheeler, who missed the Georgia game as well as a majority of the LSU game. 

Mintz answered the bell with authority, playing 30 minutes against the Bulldogs on Saturday after logging 27 against the Tigers, a game in which he scored his 1,000th career point.  

“I told [Mintz] he was outstanding,” Calipari said. “He only had one turnover. There was one play he made. He passed up a shot and drove into a bad shot, and I jumped him. ‘Shoot the ball!’ If it doesn’t go in, we’ll rebound.” 

In what’s been a career full of ups and downs, Mintz knows that his confidence is the one thing that can turn the tide in the blink of an eye.  

“Knowing that I’m a shooter, and the team, and coaches don’t care how much I miss, they just want me to keep shooting,” Mintz said. “So, the encouragement gained my confidence back. So that was my turning point, I knew it was going to turn around.” 

The product of Mintz’s determination was shown in a big way on Saturday, which is something that he can only thank God for.  

“I just put my faith in God. I prayed and prayed about it, and I just kept working,” Mintz said. “These past two games have been a testimony of my hard work, honestly.” 

Back-to-back double-figure scoring games are a fantastic sign for Mintz and the Cats as Calipari seeks bench production in a big way with SEC play rolling onward.