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From the Pressbox: Tom Leach sits down with UK's 'most underrated player'

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UK_MVS_34_CW.JPGKentucky's "most underrated player" is how former Wildcat and Mississippi Valley State coach Sean Woods described UK freshman Doron Lamb last weekend.

Woods had just seen Lamb score 16 points against his Delta Devils. It marked Lamb's sixth double-figure scoring game in his first 10 outings, and the Oak Hill Academy product is the Cats' third-leading scorer (12.4 points per game) despite coming off the bench.

It's a role Lamb has said repeatedly that he is comfortable filling -- just as comfortable as he seems to be in his role as a scorer for this team. Lamb is shooting 46 percent from the field, including a 48.6-percent efficiency at the 3-point line. 

Back in August, head coach John Calipari compared Lamb to one of his former Memphis players, Chris Douglas-Roberts, who earned the nickname "Buckets" for his ability to fill it up from the perimeter.

But that good shooting for Lamb does take work.

"Well, my best friend growing up in New York City goes to school with me here and lives in the lodge," Lamb said. "We go in the gym at 10 or 10:30 p.m. and I shoot a lot of 3-pointers. He spots and I move to midrange and then we move it around to shoot open jump shots. I just create my own shots so I probably shoot 400 shots a night."

Every night?

"Yes, every night," he said.
 
Lamb grew up in Queens, N.Y. and got exposed to the famous playground games there at an early age. He said it was his mom that advised him at an early age to hone his jump-shooting skills.

"When I was younger, when I would get the ball in like fifth grade, I would get the ball and just drive to the basket because I couldn't shoot," Lamb said. "My mom told me I needed to work on my jump shot because I was little at the time and said it wouldn't work when I got older because of the big guys, and she said to work on my jump shot."

So Lamb would head off to the park every night to work on his jumper and soon the practice paid dividends.

"My mom didn't (play) but she had been around basketball for a long time and my dad played basketball a lot and he taught me a lot about basketball and took me to play basketball," Lamb said. "So that is why my jump shot is so good is because of my dad and my mom. My dad was the coach and mom was the rebounder. My mom talked a lot and knows about basketball."

A player filling the sixth man role is expected to provide instant energy when he enters the game. and Lamb got an early lesson at UK about being prepared. 

In his first exhibition game in Canada, Lamb did not play well and Coach Cal called him out for not using the pregame warm-up to get himself ready to play.

"In high school, warm-up was just warm-up," Lamb said. "We would warm up and just get the ball and shoot. College is completely different. Coach has always said it is how you warm up is how you play in the games and what I did in high school is what I did in the first game of my college career. I was just going through the motions in the layup lines and stuff like that and I had a bad first half, missed foul shots, which I usually make, and open shots I usually make.

"The coaches got on me in the second half and after the game, they told me to pick up my layup line and then I could play better during the game. That night I was just so mad at myself. I went to sleep early and I prayed that I would have a better game and I did. Now I know what to do before every game."

Lamb now knows how to prepare for games but he wasn't prepared for the crush of attention that comes with being a member of the UK basketball team.

"It is hard but I didn't know when I got here it would be like this," Lamb said. "To see how the fans are, I am surprised. There are a lot of people who know my name. I am comfortable with it.  They say 'What up' I say 'What up' back, take pictures or whatever. It's cool."
 
And so is Doron Lamb.

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1 Comment

Doron Lamb is NOT from Queens, hes from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Hes only been living in Queens for like 2 years. But he's from the L.E.S. do your research and ask him.

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  • MJ: Doron Lamb is NOT from Queens, hes from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Hes only been living in Queens read more