The addition of four-star shooting guard recruit Tyler Herro on Tuesday gives UK a dynamic offensive threat for next season and — with Herro not expected to be a one-and-done college player — possibly beyond.
The 6-foot-5 prospect from Milwaukee was a 39-percent shooter from three-point range as a high school junior last season, and he’s billed as one of the top outside threats nationally in the class of 2018.
During Herro’s recruitment, Scout.com nationally analyst Evan Daniels mentioned to the Herald-Leader that a player of his caliber from long range should benefit greatly from John Calipari’s offensive style of slashing toward the basket.
“I’m sure that Kentucky is probably showing him tape of Doron Lamb and how they were able to space the court with him and get him open looks,” Daniels said.
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Lamb benefited from playing alongside other talented players, which led to many open looks from deep. He also knew how to create shots for himself.
Herro could be in a similar situation at Kentucky.
Here’s a look at the five most prolific three-point shooters recruited by Calipari during his time at UK; Perhaps a few years from now, Herro will be on this list:
5. Malik Monk
The Wildcats’ leading scorer in 2016-17 is third on UK’s all-time list of most threes in a single season (and he made the second-most threes in a season during the Calipari era). Monk was 104-for-262 from long range (39.7 percent) last season and made eight shots from deep during his 47-point performance to lead Kentucky to a December victory over North Carolina.
If not for Luke Maye’s game-winner in the NCAA Tournament rematch against the Tar Heels, the three-pointer Monk hit from the top of the key to tie the Elite Eight game with 7.2 seconds left would go down as one of UK’s biggest in recent years.
4. Derek Willis
A rare four-year player in the Calipari era, Willis played sparingly in his first two seasons as a Wildcat before blossoming into an important part of the team as a junior and senior. He was also a phenomenal three-point shooter those last two seasons.
Willis was 108-for-271 from long range (39.9 percent) during his UK career. All but six of those-three pointers came during his final two years as a Cat. He shot 44.2 percent on three-pointers as a junior, and only Doron Lamb has had a higher single-season percentage under Calipari.
3. Jamal Murray
The Canadian sharpshooter played only 36 games for the Wildcats, but he still managed to end up at No. 23 on the team’s all-time list of three-pointers in a career.
Murray was 113-for-277 from deep two seasons ago, amassing the most three-pointers in a single season during the Calipari era. Among UK players, Murray’s total of 113 threes as a freshman is second only to Jodie Meeks’ 117 during the 2008-09 season, when Meeks was a junior.
Among UK players who have attempted at least 150 career three-pointers, Murray’s success rate (40.8 percent) is fourth all-time behind only Doron Lamb (47.5), Cameron Mills (47.4) and Travis Ford (44.5).
2. Aaron Harrison
His three-point percentage is the lowest of the players on this list, but it’s hard to argue that anyone has hit more meaningful threes in big-time moments over the past few years than Harrison.
His long-range shots late in games against Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin during that magical 2014 NCAA Tournament run sent the Wildcats all the way to the national championship game. The threes against the Wolverines and Badgers — in the Elite Eight and Final Four, respectively — both came in the final 10 seconds of the game.
During his career, Harrison was 121-for-361 from three-point range (33.5 percent). No player recruited by Calipari has attempted more three-pointers in his UK career.
1. Doron Lamb
UK fans love shooters, and few Wildcats been more fun to watch than Lamb, the program’s all-time leader in three-point percentage and the leading scorer in Kentucky’s most recent national title game victory.
Lamb made 144 of 303 attempts from deep at UK, good enough for a 47.5-percent clip, the highest in school history. He was 3-for-6 from three-point range and scored 22 points in the Wildcats’ victory over Kansas in the 2012 national title game.
He shot 48.6 percent as a freshman and 46.6 percent as a sophomore, the No. 1 and 2 most-accurate three-point shooting seasons in the Calipari era.
Lamb also excelled in the mid-range game, getting plenty of buckets by pump-faking on the three, sliding by defenders and pulling up from a few steps inside the line.
▪ He’s not mentioned on this list because he wasn’t a John Calipari recruit, but Darius Miller actually has made the most three-pointers during the Calipari era. Miller, the former Kentucky Mr. Basketball who played one season under Billy Gillispie, was 157-for-408 from three-point range (38.5 percent) in his three seasons with Calipari. Miller is 10th on UK’s all-time list of made three-pointers with 175 in his career.
▪ The next five players on the list above (most three-pointers made by a Calipari recruit at UK) would have been: 6. Kyle Wiltjer (90 threes made), 7. Tyler Ulis (88), Brandon Knight (87), James Young (82) and Andrew Harrison (69).
▪ Devin Booker was much-celebrated for his three-point shooting in his one season at Kentucky. He made 58 of 141 attempts from deep for 41.1 percent. Booker is a 35.6-percent shooter from three-point range so far in his NBA career.
Most prolific three-point shooters in the Calipari era at UK