Just Keep Movin’…
In the second half of Friday’s game against Kansas State, the Kentucky Wildcats did an exceptional job of moving the ball. For the entire season, our assists have been very low and although that may not have changed, it was nice to see the increase in players who had possession of the ball, in any given play, rather than any one player trying to run in and do it alone. Although this resulted in a few turnovers, it was good to keep the ball moving on the offensive end.
Holding on Strong
Relatively, with the score as low as it was throughout the game, the ball handling and defense was strong on both sides. In the first half in Saint Louis, Kentucky outscored Kansas State by only 6 points, making the score at the end of the half only 23-29. These two teams were a great matchup and that was displayed in the fact that the biggest lead at any time in the game was a mere 12 points. Kentucky only outscored their opponent by 1 point in the second half (26-27). In the end, the Kentucky Wildcats came out ahead, but not by much.
Best on Best
The top performers on both sides of this game were fairly equal but differed greatly in one major category. #2 freshman guard, Marcus Foster, was the top performer on his team with 15 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal. For the University of Kentucky, the top performer was #30 freshman forward, Julius Randle. He led his team Friday with 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 1 block. The category in which these players were vastly difference is rebounds. Whether offensive or defensive, rebounds could have a significant impact on the dynamics of the game.
“Where has that Randle move been? That’s the man he should be. Drove, took contact, didn’t fall back and finished with and one.”- Sports writer Larry Vaught tweeted during Friday’s game
Don’t get too excited…
With the win over Kansas State, Kentucky players and fans could understandably breathe a sigh of relief. In the midst of celebration, Kentucky fans much also look to what’s ahead. On Sunday the 23rd, the Wildcats will take on the #1 ranked Witchita State. Although Kentucky has a chance of winning if they bring the intensity we’ve seen recently, the Wildcats must recognize the fact that this game will be very different than the game against Kansas State, and approach it as such.
Looking forward and back
In preparation to play an undefeated team, Kentucky must examine all aspects of their game. The Wildcats need to look forward to Witchita State and their strengths and weaknesses. Also, they need to look back at this season as a whole and at what can be improved. What is it that Witchita State has done this season in order to stay focused? A main priority for Kentucky should be keeping their eye on the prize while remembering and pulling ahead of their past.
“We had a nice little run. Now it’s time to regroup one more time and see how we play being the best version of ourselves.- Coach John Calipari tweeted last Sunday in preparation for these games