When you think of great Kentucky shooters, names like Doron Lamb, Jamal Murray, and Devin Booker probably come to mind. However, with any luck, a new name may be added to this list after the upcoming season: Blair Green.
The Harlan County, Kentucky native is entering her senior season with a huge opportunity ahead of her. After averaging six points and 1.6 rebounds a game last season, Green should play a pivotal role on the team this year. However, whether or not Green seizes this opportunity, will be completely up to her.
The sharpshooter, like many of her teammates, seriously struggled with consistency during the 2020-2021 season. Nevertheless, Green’s issues may have stemmed from different sources than her fellow ‘Cats. While many players on the team simply fell into natural slumps, Green’s problems seemed to come back to confidence.
To best illustrate this, let’s begin by examining Green’s first half of last season. During her first 14 games of the season, Green was putting up 3.3 attempts from deep per game. Accordingly, Green was averaging 9.1 points per game during this time.
In stark contrast, let’s now dive into Green’s final 13 games of the season. On average, Green attempted 1.2 threes per game. An obvious drop-off from the first half of the season. Consequently, Green averaged a mere 2.7 points per game during this stretch.
Although there were plenty of other statistics that display Green’s drop in confidence, these may be the most telling. Since day one on campus, Green has been known as a shooter, and as the old saying goes “shooters shoot.” Thus, when the Wildcats’ supposed marksman suddenly stopped firing, it was clear there was a problem.
So, what caused this issue and how can Green avoid it happening again? Funnily enough, the answer was lying in plain sight.
Green’s downward spiral began on January 24 after Kentucky took an embarrassing loss to Tennessee. During this contest, Green put up and missed four attempts from the field and finished with zero points. The performance came as an obvious shock to Green’s system, who had been playing at an all-time high.
The poor performance carried into Kentucky’s next game. Green, once again, only put up four shots and finished with two points. The guard had officially let her confidence be sapped. But, it didn’t have to be this way.
The Tennessee game wasn’t the first time Green had struggled that season. Earlier in the year, Green had gone 0/7 from the field against a tough Indiana squad. Yet, she didn’t allow this game to stunt her confidence.
Instead, Green fired up even more shots next game and finished shooting 8/13 from the field with a total of 17 points. The Tennessee game wasn’t a pivotal event because Green played badly, it was a pivotal event because Green allowed it to affect her next game.
Thankfully for Green, this season is a fresh slate. The Kentucky guard has every reason to have faith in her shooting abilities and has proven herself time and time again. If the hot-handed Wildcat can keep her confidence high, her limits will be low.
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