NEW ORLEANS – He's not among the four five-star freshmen on the roster. He's not the senior leader on the team. And he's not an enigmatic talent with all eyes on him.
Despite all that, Doron Lamb was the offensive star for Kentucky during Monday night's national championship win over Kansas.
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The sophomore guard from New York finished with 22 points, including 3-for-6 shooting from 3-point range, and also dished out three assists.
“I said he would get 25 tonight,” head coach John Calipari said. “So I'm a little disappointed.”
When Kansas made a run to cut the lead to 10 midway through the second half, it wasn't Anthony Davis who got the touch. It wasn't Darius Miller or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. It wasn't Terrence Jones or Marquis Teague.
It was Lamb who knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers in a 33-second span to push the lead to what looked like an insurmountable 16-point lead.
“He is as good a guard, when his motor is moving, as any guard in the country,” Calipari said. “He can play multiple positions. He shoots it. He makes free throws.
“I knew he'd have a big game. I knew it.”
Lamb has flown under the radar for much of the season, taking a back seat to more heralded – and talented – players. He was a top-30 recruit coming out of high school, but he doesn't leap out at you like some of the other players on the roster.
However, Lamb has constantly hit big shots all season and emerged as one of the more consistent threats on the team.
When the team needed a big shot, it was Lamb who got the call.
“I don't care who gets the spotlight,” he said. “I just go out there and play hard and try to win the game.
“We won the whole championship.”