RedHawks followed Cats' blueprint to 3-point success

jtipton@herald-leader.comNovember 18, 2009 

Freshman guard John Wall, the hero of Kentucky's victory over Miami (Ohio) on Monday night, was impressed by the RedHawks' 15-for-26 shooting from three-point range.

"Coach said they could shoot but, good grief, I didn't know they could shoot that good," Wall said after the game. "I've never seen a team shoot that good."

Nor has Kentucky seen an opponent make more three-point shots in Rupp Arena.

During the three-point era, only one other UK opponent has made 15 three-pointers in a game. Georgia went 15-for-30 against visiting UK on Jan. 26, 1999. D.A. Layne made five of 11 three-point shots in that game, and teammate Jumaine Jones made four of nine.

"You know, you never plan to do those things," Miami Coach Charlie Coles said of the sharpshooting. "When it started happening, you just say, 'Well ... '"

Miami did hope to create shooting space on the perimeter.

"The only thing we told our players was, let's do what they do," Coles said. "Let's get some dribble-drive things."

In other words, have the guards penetrate and force defensive rotations. "They'll go to the ball," Coles said of defenders, "and kick it out."

Junior forward Nick Winbush made eight three-point shots, a Rupp Arena record for a visiting player. The previous record of seven was shared by Chris Jackson of Louisiana State, Joe Crispin of Penn State, Vincent Yarbrough and Chris Lofton of Tennessee, and Layne.

Former UK guard Tony Delk holds the overall Rupp Arena record for threes in a game with nine against Texas Christian on Jan. 20, 1996.

"Mark my word, this ain't the end of him," Coles said of Winbush in the post-game news conference. "He's hitting his stride now. As soon as he learns to come off screens and understands what we draw up and knows what we call in a timeout, he's going to be dynamite."

Winbush, a career 34.4-percent shooter from three-point range, scored a career-high 26 points. He made three of five three-point shots in Miami's opening loss to Towson, which makes him 11-for-15 from beyond the arc through two games.

Because Miami lacks a lot of size this season, Coles said he's more supportive of the idea of the three-point shot being an equalizer.

But the Miami coach fretted about unintended consequences of the hot-shooting night.

"We're going to downplay it with our guys," he said. "We don't want to fall in love with the three."

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