Lamb expects to make open shots, and does

Doron Lamb has been very hot shooting the ball from behind the arc in SEC play

Doron Lamb says making shots is not as hard as some might think, but even he admits he's on a bit of a hot streak right now.

Lamb is hitting 49.5 percent this season from 3-point range, but in Southeastern Conference play he's at 55.6 (20-for-36) after going 4-for-5 in Tuesday's win over Florida.

"Yeah, I am shooting the ball very well right now and getting a lot of open looks really. I want to keep doing this and getting shots up and working on my game," said Lamb.

He credits teammates for his success because of the way UK's interior players are posting inside to draw defenders into the lane.

"They are doubling Terrence (Jones) and digging at Anthony (Davis). If they keep doing that, there are a lot of shooters on the team that can make shots," Lamb said.

Yet no one hits outside shots on this Kentucky team like Lamb, who does not worry about missing "because I know I will make the next two even if I do miss."

He's soared into the lottery pick range of the mock rankings going to Memphis with the 13th selection. Here's what the draft projection said about the UK sophomore: "Lamb's overall skill set is not fully utilized playing on such a loaded team, but would mesh well with the Grizzlies' group of scorers. Lamb has been arguably UK's most consistent performer this season. Every time the team needs a big basket, it seems that Lamb answers the call. He's a clutch performer, has underrated point guard ability and is an excellent teammate."

Lamb knows, though, Kentucky needs him to hit open shots.

"I?am a good shooter and I know if I miss a lot of shots, I will make the next ones. I am not worried about missing any shots. I?just worry about knocking them down," he said. "I do expect to make them. Every time I?shoot, I know it is going in so I don't really worry about missing. "If I am wide open,?I think 90 percent will go in really. I?have to keep shooting at practice and working on my game and keep getting all the shots up that I can, but when I?am open I expect to make shots because that is what I am supposed to do."

He could find himself paired against another superb shooter Saturday in Vanderbilt's John Jenkins, a 44.3 percent shooter (89-for-201) from 3-point range. Jenkins led the SEC in scoring last year with an even 20 points per game and is leading the league again this year with the same average.

"He's doing a lot of getting to the basket and that's why he's getting to the free-throw line," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said of Jenkins. "Vandy as a team is getting to the free-throw line. They have a veteran basketball team and I think they're using him in different ways to get him open."

Jenkins has taken 78 free throws in 23 games and made 66. Lamb has shot 93 and made 77 in 25 games.

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said Jenkins has improved practically every facet of his game.

"His defense is 1000 percent better. He's a very dependable defensive player for us now," Stallings said. "John has really given us so much more than he gave us a year ago — leadership, talking, energy. He's not a guy that's just running around out here trying to figure out where his next shot comes from.

"Obvioulsy the the thing that stands out to anyone is what a terrific shooter he is. But he's better off the dribble. He's becoming an assists guy. He's really given us so much more than he did a year ago. He's trying to lead the team and play the game the way it should be played."

Lamb certainly respects Jenkins' play.

"He's a very good player, the kind of player you like to play against because you know how good he is,"?Lamb said.

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