After his crew’s 96-56 drubbing towards Kentucky Wednesday afternoon, North Florida head coach Matthew Driscoll has recognized what he sees as a key element to a profitable the rest of the season for these Wildcats.
Driscoll was an assistant coach at Baylor and Clemson for a complete of 11 seasons. He has been in the enterprise for 35 years and is in his 14th season as head coach of the Ospreys, who he mentioned had just performed their 91st “guarantee money” sport – the place a lesser revered crew travels to play towards a extremely acclaimed opponent to compete and will get a test in change for the anticipated beating – throughout his tenure at the faculty.
After that explicit money sport, Driscoll wished to speak about “the Reeves kid – number 12.”
That could be Antonio Reeves, who had just misplaced 20 factors on his Ospreys.
“I’ve seen a whole lot of good gamers. He’s nearly as good a three-point shooter and nearly as good a three-point finder as there may be anyplace in the nation,” mentioned Driscoll. “If he doesn’t have a three, he’ll find a three with a step backwards or a split. Many boys are thrown off course and then no longer get into a rhythm. And I think that’s what makes Reeves so special.”
Driscoll further predicted that Reeves’ ability to get open shots and then make them will be a key to the rest of the Wildcats season. He was certainly a difference maker on Wednesday.
Reeves made his first start as a Kentucky player after transferring from Illinois State in the offseason and coming off the bench in the Cats’ first five games, making his first three-pointer of the day less than 90 seconds from the opening tip. He made three more three-pointers – all in a 2-minute, 7-second flurry – to end the half-time. By the break, he had 18 points and had been shooting 4-for-5 from deep and 7-for-9 from the field. He was active on offense, not only looking for long-range shots, but also attacking the basket. He didn’t hit a bucket after half-time, but it really didn’t matter. The game was over before the two teams came out of the dressing room for the second half, by which point the Cats went up to a 54-23 lead. Reeves ended the first half with a hard-hitting three to set the lead for Kentucky’s biggest halftime advantage in eight years.
“It felt great, man,” he said. “Just get out there and feel good. Being me. And my team-mates included me in the game.”
The approach he can play on offense makes it simpler for these round him.
Driscoll mentioned he observed Reeve’s capacity to open up whereas watching a movie about the Wildcats main into Wednesday’s sport. Even earlier than his crew was terrorized by him in the Rupp Arena, he was visibly impressed by the senior guard.
The efficiency could not have come at a greater time for Reeves, who entered Wednesday’s pre-Thanksgiving matinee after going off the area 8-for-29 in his final three video games. That included a 7-1 efficiency in Kentucky’s double additional time loss to Michigan State eight days earlier and a 4-13 efficiency in one other loss to Gonzaga Sunday night time.
Reeves mentioned he went again to the health club to begin taking these video games, notably the Gonzaga journey, again in time this week. His twenty second birthday was additionally a Sunday and as he has gotten older his perspective has modified permitting him to stroll away from nights like this and get higher outcomes.
“I feel that just comes with maturity,” he said. “I came to college as a freshman sophomore — it bothered me a bit. But as you get older, you know you’re a basketball player, and you know you’re going to have games like that. So just mature and go to the gym every day and focus on getting better for the team and for yourself.”
Its impressive three-point “finder” ability is also relatively new.
Like much of Reeves’ offensive arsenal, he said he didn’t really have that talent in his first two collegiate seasons. As he entered his junior year at Illinois State, he hit the gym and began working more and more on every aspect of his game. The results were instant. He increased his three-point shooting from 30.9 percent in his first two seasons to 39.0 percent as a junior, despite receiving more attention from opposing defenses as the Redbirds’ clear top-scoring threat.
Reeves said to be able to sniff out those open shots it comes down to getting into a rhythm, maintaining good footwork, knowing your own moves and being able to read defenders.
It’s a combination that should pay dividends for the Cats this season. After Wednesday’s game, Reeves is now 20-to-43 from three-point range. That’s 46.5 percent.
“The rim has gotten larger for me,” he said of his last outing. “And I just kept shooting at the ball. shoot shooters. I definitely have that mentality that goes into every game.”
Bellarmine at No. 15 Kentucky
When: Tuesday 7 p.m
Records: Bellarmine 2-4, Kentucky 4-2
Series: First Encounter
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