Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Kentucky's fearless frosh

Knight willing to shoot anytime from anywhere

  • Print

HOUSTON -- Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight was in second grade the last time he received anything other than an 'A' on his report card.

Don't call him a 'nerd' though, as teammate Terrence Jones did recently when the subject of Knight earning a mere A-minus on a sociology test came up, a grade that still angers Knight weeks later.

Truth is, Knight is more perfectionist than bookworm. He simply hates to fail. At anything. An English exam. A basketball game. It's all the same to the player who's powered the Wildcats to their first Final Four in 13 years.

Kentucky (29-8) plays Connecticut (30-9) tonight for a spot in the national title game. And the Wildcats got there behind the thrilling shotmaking of Knight, who has established his own identity among a John Calipari-coached fraternity that includes John Wall, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans.

Knight's two game-winners in the NCAA tournament -- a lay-up in the final seconds in the second round against Princeton and a 15-foot jumper against Ohio State in the regional semifinals -- have given him a chance to achieve something Wall and Rose didn't during their spectacular but brief careers: win a championship.

Ask him what drives him and he can't quite explain it. His parents taught him the importance of a good work ethic, and that repetition has given him a confidence that is undaunted by failure.

Knight missed several game-winning or game-tying shots during the regular season, including five against Arkansas, two in regulation and three in overtime.

Missing wasn't the scenario he imagined while shooting by himself as a kid. Like everybody else who's ever picked up a ball, Knight would envision taking the last shot with the big game on the line.

"You know, 5-4-3-2-1 and then you shoot it, and if you make it you go in and chill," he said.

And he always made it before heading inside. Always. It's a ritual he continues to this day.

There isn't a spot on the floor where he's not comfortable hoisting it. Those late game-winners as a kid? Taken from all over.

"I like to believe that I can shoot from wherever," he said.

And whenever.

He missed his first seven shots against Princeton, yet Calipari didn't hesitate when drawing up one last play in a tie game. Ditto Ohio State. He put the ball in Knight's hands.

"The thing about Brandon is, he's not afraid to miss," Calipari said.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 2, 2011 C2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Inside peek at Real Pirates, new Manitoba Museum exhibit

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Goose sits in high grass near Marion Friday afternoon for cover -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 18 - May 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google