The coach that Kentucky just beat thinks he knows the key to the Cats’ future success | Basketball

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Following his team’s 96-56 drubbing at the hands of Kentucky on Wednesday afternoon, North Florida head coach Matthew Driscoll pinpointed what he sees as a key component to a successful rest of the season for these Wildcats.

Driscoll was an assistant coach at Baylor and Clemson for a combined 11 seasons. He’s been in the profession for 35 years and is in his 14th season as head coach of the Ospreys, who he said had just played their 91st “guaranteed money” game — where a lesser-regarded team travels to play a more highly touted opponent, and gets a check in return for the expected beating — during his tenure at the school.

After this particular money game, Driscoll wanted to talk about “the Reeves kid — number 12.”

That would be Antonio Reeves, who had just dropped 20 points on his Ospreys.

“I’ve seen a lot of good players. He’s as good a three-point shooter, and as good of a three-point finder as there is in the country,” Driscoll said. “If he doesn’t have a three, he’s gonna find a three with a stepback or a separation. A lot of guys, they get thrown off, and then they can’t get into a rhythm. And I think that’s what makes Reeves special.”

Driscoll went on to predict that Reeves’ ability to get open shots and then make them is going to be a key to the rest of the Wildcats’ season. He was certainly a difference-maker Wednesday.

 

Making his first start as a Kentucky player after transferring from Illinois State in the offseason and coming off the bench in the Cats’ first five games, Reeves made his first three-pointer of the day less than 90 seconds after the opening tip. He made three more threes — all in a flurry of 2 minutes and 7 seconds — to end the half. By the break, he had 18 points and had shot 4-for-5 from deep and 7-for-9 from the field. He was active on offense, not just in seeking out those long-range shots but in attacking the basket, as well. He didn’t score a bucket after halftime, but that really didn’t matter. The game was over before the two teams came out of the locker room for the second half, the Cats’ jumping out to a 54-23 lead by that point. Reeves closed the first half with a buzzer-beating three to set the margin for what was Kentucky’s biggest halftime advantage in eight years.

“It felt great, man,” he said. “Just out there feeling comfortable. Being me. And my teammates got me involved in the game.”

The way he’s capable of playing on the offensive end makes it easier for those around him.

Driscoll said he had noticed Reeves’ ability to get open when watching film of the Wildcats leading into Wednesday’s game. He was clearly impressed with the senior guard even before his team was terrorized by him in Rupp Arena.

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