In a recruiting class that showcases the High School National Player of the Year and a stud out of Oregon, Doron Lamb may be the best offensively. There was much speculation as to what John Calipari was going to do with his starting line-up at the start of the season.
Was he going to go small but more skilled or was he going to take the height but less talent route? It is safe to say he made the right choice. Doron Lamb coming off the bench seems to have been just what the doctor ordered.
When fall practices began and Calipari got his first look at his team playing together he found a nickname for his star shooting guard out of New York, “Buckets”. Calipari was so impressed with Lamb’s ability to score that he went with that nickname.
Lamb has shown off his ability to score multiple times this season. He has scored above fifteen points in five games and you would think that isn’t too much but he does it coming off the bench. Did I mention he also holds the freshmen scoring record at Kentucky when he went off for 32 points against Winthrop?
Lamb so far this season is averaging fourteen points in just about twenty-seven minutes a game. Even more impressive is his 54-percent shooting from behind the arc. Last year in the Elite 8 loss to the Mountaineers fingers could have been pointed in many different directions.
None was more depressing then Kentucky’s inability to shoot the three consistently. Doron Lamb has been nothing but consistent. If you forget about him or leave him alone he makes you pay.
What is even better is that Lamb doesn’t seem to be very phased about being the sixth man either. “I’m here to do whatever coach tells me to do. If he wants me to come off the bench then that’s what I’ll do… It doesn’t bother me.”
Doron, we are glad it doesn’t bother you because you do a fantastic job doing it. Most teams lack a solid bench player who can come in and provide instant offense and pretty good defense. He is the spark that Kentucky could have used last season.
Many times you will see ego’s and arrogance get in the way with bench players who perform well. Who wouldn’t want to start? Lamb is smarter then most players. He doesn’t let his ego get in the way and he plays basketball as it is supposed to be played. It’s a team game and Lamb is the perfect picture of an excellent teammate.
He could easily be pushing the envelope towards Calipari and complain about coming off the bench. He could start on any team in the country and he could easily start over Darius Miller or DeAndre Liggins. You don’t hear him complain and mostly because he knows his time is coming.
When he comes in the ‘Cats don’t skip a beat. He may replace Brandon Knight or Terrence Jones but the score still seems to increase and he keeps providing the same effort that Knight or Jones bring.
“Buckets” is the best thing that has happened to John Calipari and his team this season. He is unselfish, patient and has his head on straight. Coaches kill for team players because it builds chemistry and allows the team to reach their full potential. Lamb is a model player for any basketball player who thinks they should be starting but instead is coming off the bench.
You can do just as much damage coming off the bench as you can do starting. In the end it is just a title and everyone has their own role on the team. All that matters is what you do while you are on the floor and that you help your team keep winning. As long as the ‘Cats keep winning, I am sure Doron Lamb won’t mind coming off the bench.