6’3” 187 LBS PG
36 G | 29.6 MPG | 16.7 PPG | 47.8 FG% | 24.6 3FG% | 73.9 FT% | 3.9 RPG | 4.6 APG | 1.5 SPG
• With the exception of fellow SEC member school Auburn, no high-major NCAA men’s basketball team played at a faster pace last season than Kentucky (76.2 possessions per game), and Fox’s blurring speed was a big reason why. The tall, lanky, athletic point guard was vital to jump-starting the Wildcats’ prospect-laden roster, which produced the most potent offense in the SEC, and finished 2016-2017 10th in the country in scoring. Below, see how Fox helped Kentucky’s cause in a December pairing with North Carolina at the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas.
• An All-SEC First Team pick, and member of the league’s All-Rookie team as well, Fox ranked sixth in the conference in scoring (16.7 ppg), fifth in field goal percentage (47.8%), fifth in free throws made (156) and attempted (211), and first in total assists (165) and assists per game (4.6). The co-MVP of the 2016 Jordan Brand Classic saved what was arguably the strongest scoring stretch of his freshman season for the final two weeks of Kentucky’s season, increasing his average to 21.6 points over the Wildcats’ last seven contests. Highlighting this spurt was Fox’s 39-point outburst in a March 24th Sweet 16 match-up against Lonzo Ball and UCLA.
• As shown in the reel above, especially the final clip, in which he calls on his quickness to easily elude perimeter double coverage, Fox was able to do major damage this season driving the lane. Not much of an outside shooter (he attempted only 69 3-pointers, making 17), the Houston native topped the SEC with 197 2-point field goals, and was at his most effective offensively in transition and isolation situations. Also of note, Fox got plenty of reps in screen-and-roll sets, which accounted for more than 40.0 percent of his total offensive possessions, per Synergy Sports. He produced 0.96 points per possession in these scenarios.
• Fox tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in a November 28th meeting against Arizona State. The triple-double was only the second ever in Kentucky history, the previous one coming nearly 20 years ago.
Did You Know?:
A few weeks before Fox went on his mid-March tear, a Bleacher Report profile examined how the 19-year old relied on video game playing to further refine his point guard skills. In the article, Fox’s father, Aaron, was quoted as saying, “A lot of people don’t believe me, but I tell everyone that PlayStation helped him get where he is today. He’d play that PlayStation, and he could master it in no time. He learned pick-and-rolls, he learned how to roll off a ball screen. I tell kids if they want to learn something about basketball, go put it on ‘pro mode’ on 2K and let them play.”
Quote of Note:
“De’Aaron’s speed, length and ability to pick up defensively from 94 feet set him apart from his peers. [He] came in here focused from day one, and to see his improvement from the beginning of the season to the end was special. What you saw from De’Aaron over the last month and a half of the season I think is what NBA teams will get for the future.” – Kentucky coach John Calipari, ukathletics.com (4/3/2017)