Look into Devin Askew, Kentucky basketball culture with The Kentucky Kernel

Christina Huang, Sports Reporter

Sophomore guard Devin Askew is one of many transfers on the Texas men’s basketball roster this season. The Daily Texan spoke with The Kentucky Kernel sports editor Hunter Shelton to better understand Askew’s skill set as a player and what drove him to leave Kentucky.

The Daily Texan: What should Texas fans expect from Devin Askew? 

Hunter Shelton: I think Texas fans should expect a point guard with a lot of heart, (someone) that is going to leave everything out on the court. He sizes up pretty well with a lot of guards in the country. His skill set might not match some of the elite guards that are in the country, but he’s going to match up pretty well sizewise with a lot of the people he’s got to go up against.

DT: What do you think went wrong for Askew at Kentucky? I understand that he didn’t exactly live up to his freshman year expectations.

HS: As anyone knows, playing at Kentucky comes with a lot of pressure. (Askew) was kind of expected to be that third piece, alongside Brandon Boston and the late Terrence Clarke. So when things weren’t going well for Kentucky in general, it wasn’t just him. But when he’s the point guard, the guy who’s handling the ball all the time, the blame is easily shifted towards him. His play didn’t match the elite caliber that big blue nation often sees, (so) the pieces never really clicked for Kentucky last season. It was tough; a lot of things went wrong and that’s just part of it.

DT: Could you tell me more about Kentucky’s unique basketball culture? 

HS: Kentucky basketball is not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle. Big Blue Madness is the lead up to the season, and it’s this huge, ginormous thing. People are coming from all parts of (the state) to see every single Kentucky game. So, there’s a lot of expectations (on) the players and when you run into the issues that they ran into last season; you’re going to get a little bit more backlash than you would from a smaller school. It’s just kind of part of it. Kentucky culture is different. It’s up there with the Dukes and North Carolinas of the world. They expect greatness every single season, so when that doesn’t happen it does make things a little awkward. When things don’t click, well, nothing is really going right.

DT: Back to Askew, what do you think some of his greatest strengths are as a player? 

HS: He does match up really well with a lot of people sizewise. While his athleticism and raw talent might not match some of the other guards in the country, he’s able to hang with a lot of those guys. If he can get his jump shot going, then he’s got a really good shot (that) he’s able to mix in with dribble driving (past) defenders. His game does work. It’s just Kentucky might not have been the right fit for him to really build on that. That could be something for him to work on and get a lot better at Texas.

DT: What are some things that Askew could work on improving? 

HS: It’s possible that (this) could have changed since he left Kentucky, but he did struggle to get past defenders when he was at the point guard role. I think a lot of the time he wasn’t really able to space the ball out that well and get other people going as well. His assist numbers weren’t the best, (but) it’s hard to say what exactly these weaknesses are because a lot of what happened with Kentucky last season was more of a team thing. Not everyone performed (well), so it was difficult, but he wasn’t able to drive past defenders a lot. I would say that’s going to be the main thing.