Dillingham not worried about PT

Published 9:41 am Friday, August 4, 2023


Contributing writer

Freshman guard Rob Dillingham was a top 15 national recruit and considered one of the top offensive players in his recruiting class. However, in UK’s four games in Canada he averaged just 5.5 points and 3.5 assists per game while shooting a team-low 31 percent from the field. He was also eighth in minutes played.

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However, Kentucky assistant coach Bruiser Flint noted that Dillingham took and missed some difficult shots which was not a surprise in his first collegiate action.

“One thing about small guys — because I was one myself — when you’re used to getting to the basket, you have to take what they’re giving you sometimes,” Flint said on the UK Radio Network.

“We’ve been telling him, ‘Hey, shoot the pull-up.’ It’s a little bit different — the size, the strength of the guys, they’re on him a little bit — but we’ve said, ‘If you’re open on the pull-up, shoot the pull-up.’ Because he shoots that. That’s probably his best shot.”

Flint said the coaches knew he was pressing a bit and offered advice to encourage him.

“We just told him, ‘Don’t worry about it. We know you’re missing a lot of shots. Don’t get frustrated,’” Flint said.

Dillingham did not get frustrated by his shooting or playing time in Toronto when UK went 4-0 and won the GLOBL Jam over Germany, Africa and Canada. Instead, he said the freedom coach John Calipari gives players makes it easier to play.

“It’s way easier because a lot of people don’t have a rope, so it’s like you play scared, and you’re scared of coming out of the game,” Dillingham said. “Playing with coach Cal, he gives you confidence to just play however you play, and whoever’s playing the best is going to play. So it’s definitely easy playing for him.”