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Just The Sports: Kentucky Point Guard Brandon Knight Is Unique Among John Calipari's Point Guards

Just The Sports

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kentucky Point Guard Brandon Knight Is Unique Among John Calipari's Point Guards

In point guard Brandon Knight, Kentucky head coach John Calipari has a freshman point guard unlike any he has coached starting with Derrick Rose who played for him in the 2007-08 season. However, that does not mean Knight is any less effective than Calipari's other three point guards.

Before Knight, Calipari's three previous incarnations of one-and-done point guards, Rose, John Wall, and Tyreke Evans, were all capable shooters, but none were of the quality of shooter that Knight has been this season.

After last night's uncharacteristically poor shooting effort from the field against Arkansas where he went 8 of 23 yet made up for some of his off-shooting night by going 9 of 9 from the free throw line, Knight's effective field goal percentage dropped from 56.0 percent to 54.5 percent and his true shooting percentage for the season dropped from 59.2 percent to 58.4 percent, but he is still the best shooting point guard of the four.

Rose's 51.7 effective field goal percentage under Calipari comes the closest of the other three point guards to matching Knight's pure shooting numbers from the field and Wall's 56.2 true shooting percentage comes the closest in matching Knight once free throws are added into the equation. Still, there is a pretty sizable gap between their shooting prowess and Knight's.

Evans brings up the rear in terms of shooting with his 48.9 effective field goal percentage and 52.9 true shooting percentage, making him far and away the worst shooting point guard of the four. Evans did not let that keep him from playing like a go-to scorer, though, as according to, Evans took 32.1 percent of his team's shots when he was on the court, which is the highest such percentage of the four.

It is a good thing Knight holds such a great advantage over the other point guards in shooting, too, since he is the least "true" point guard among the four in terms of dishing out assists and avoiding turnovers.

Rose is the best in that aspect of being a point guard with a 30.4 assist rate and 19.1 turnover rate during his tenure as a point guard for Calipari. Wall ranks second with a 34.8 assist rate and 24.0 turnover rate. Even Evans, whose 30.0 assist rate and 21.6 turnover rate under Calipari are nothing special, has a much better ratio than Knight.

Through February 20, Knight was sporting a very underwhelming 22.4 assist rate and 21.4 turnover rate, meaning he is just barely making more assists than turnovers.

Normally, such a low ratio would be the hallmark of an inadequate point guard, but Knight shoots the ball so well he has only been a less effective offensive point guard for Calipari than Rose was. Knight's offensive rating through February 20 was 109.5, a number that is likely to come down after the Arkansas game, is second only to Rose's 111.8 offensive rating for Calipari.

Knight narrowly edges Wall's 108.0 offensive rating and leaves Evans' 101.0 offensive rating far behind in his rear view mirror.

Since Knight's offensive value is so tied up with his shooting percentages, he will need to continue to shoot well to remain such a good offensive player. As long as he is able to do that, Calipari's most unique freshman point guard will keep being one of his most effective.

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