Sahvir Wheeler expected to be the “greatest point guard in the nation”

For the final two seasons, Sahvir Wheeler has led the Southeastern Conference in assists. He was tabbed as a Bob Cousy Award finalist in 2021-22, which works to the nation’s high total point guard. Wheeler’s 207 assists with Kentucky final season ranked fourth in program historical past and his 193 assists with Georgia the 12 months earlier than set the program’s single-season report. There aren’t many, if any, “pure point guards” in school basketball higher than him.

Now getting into his senior season and second in Lexington, the 5-foot-9 Wheeler wants to deliver much more to the hardwood in 2022-23. The Kentucky teaching workers has been impressed along with his growth all through the offseason thus far and has excessive expectations for the returning ground basic.

“The subsequent step for him is continuous his progress,” Kentucky affiliate head coach Orlando Antigua instructed the media on Thursday. “Shooting the ball, one, and persevering with to be an important chief. We count on him to go forward and be a fierce defender on the ball like he has been. To proceed to lead the workforce.”

Leadership, playmaking, and point-of-attack protection are the place Wheeler thrived a season in the past. He’ll be expected to deliver those self same tendencies this coming 12 months, however he’ll have to shake off a few of final season’s baggage alongside the approach. Injuries close to the finish of the 2021-22 schedule did him and the workforce no favors getting into the ultimate stretch. His 30.8 capturing proportion from distance left a lot to be desired, too.

Fans typically keep in mind the most up-to-date factor that occurred, nevertheless it’s powerful to ignore how vital Wheeler was all through the course of the total season.

“It’s a present and a curse of the Big Blue Nation. They’re so invested, and we perceive the dynamics of that… We perceive that and I believe Sahvir understands that,” Kentucky assistant coach Chin Coleman instructed the media on Thursday. “I believe the important factor for him to do is to preserve; proceed to chop wooden, so to converse. Get higher each single day, each single possession, and he is been doing that.”

Last season, Wheeler was typically referred to as the participant who “stirs the drink” for Kentucky on each ends of the ground. But at occasions, his sporadic method might burn the ‘Cats in vital conditions. Late-game conditions, in explicit, are an space the workers is honing in on with Wheeler.

“He and I spend a whole lot of time collectively on and off the ground,” added Coach Coleman. “We’re engaged on a whole lot of issues and hopefully everybody will see all of the stuff that we have been engaged on. It’s extra situational consciousness, and what I imply by that’s the final 5 minutes of the sport, final seven minutes of the sport. Understanding the state of affairs and being conscious, the do’s and the don’ts. Taking much less threat and being extra environment friendly and sharper. We’ve talked about that advert nauseam so I’m anticipating for him to be the greatest point guard in the nation.”

The concept that Wheeler can be the greatest point guard in all of faculty basketball is not precisely a stretch. He was thought of one among the high 5 lead ball handlers in the nation only a season in the past, in accordance to the Bob Cousy Award, and three of these 5 finalists at the moment are in the NBA. But how can he push himself right into a class of his personal?

“It feels. And clearly he is going to be reminded of it repeatedly,” Coleman mentioned. “I’m gonna be on the bench reminding him, even in the Bahamas. This is a special a part of the sport, we gotta get higher, we gotta begin proper now. Changing the focus mentally, figuring out the state of affairs determines what we’re doing. If we’re working that motion, we gotta run that motion. We gotta get the greatest shot attainable, we gotta get an important shot, not simply go for the residence run and the ooh’s and aah’s. That stuff is nice, however when it is time to win the sport, we gotta play profitable basketball.”

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