Darnell Dodson warming up

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After a slow start that saw Darnell Dodson go oh-for-the season prior to the Indiana game, the sophomore has heated up. Against Hartford Tuesday night, Dodson poured in 19 points, including 6-10 three point shots, all career highs. For good measure he also added a career high eight rebounds to boot.

Despite the career outing, UK coach John Calipari believes Dodson can be even better. ""I thought that Miller and Dodson, offensively with Darius in the second half and Darnell in the first half, played well," Calipari acknowledged. "They are still not defending the way that they have to defend. They are just not. It is scary. If you are playing a big-time game and they keep breaking down, you can't score enough to beat the other team. I thought that Ramon and DeAndre played pretty well. I think that they are better, and Darnell and Darius are better."

Dodson's outside shooting will be integral to Kentucky's hopes for success at the highest level this season, and he fully understands that role.

""It's (three-point shooting) going to be real important because it's going to help stretch the defense out and create more opportunities to get to the basket, or throwing the ball inside to the post and letting them be able to score easy baskets," Dodson said. Dodson's shooting was particularly important against Hartford because teammate Eric Bledsoe, who normally starts at the guard position alongside John Wall, missed the game due to an ankle injury. ""I think I helped out a lot by just being another threat from the wing on the offensive end and on defense. I basically just had to fill his shoes."

After a slow start out of the gate, Dodson has now creeped up to 8.73 points per game, including 42.9% from 3-point range. That makes Dodson Kentucky's 5th leading scorer, despite playing only about 17 minutes per game.

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