Kentucky Basketball: Blue White Game tonight a refreshing return for hoops

Kentucky men's team
Kentucky men's team /
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Kentucky basketball
Kentucky basketball /

So many guards so few positions but maybe three at a time

Will he go with three guards since he has plenty to choose from including TyTy Washington, Sahvir Wheeler, Davion Mintz, Kellan Grady, and last week’s highlight player Kareem Watkins?

That’s a lot of talent at guard and will be fun to see how they play together. One thing is for sure there will be a lot more assists racked up, more floaters, and improved shooting.

Returner Keion Brooks Jr. loves what he sees from the guards and all the talking they do.

"“I think we’ve got a lot of guys that talk really well. Sahvir, being the point guard, directing traffic, he’s a great communicator. Lance (Ware) is also really good, playing the five, being on the back line. We got a whole bunch of guys that are not afraid to speak up and help direct traffic out there on the court.”"

We all expect Wheeler and Washington to have much better court awareness than we have had recently. This vision and a lot more speed in finding players will help create opportunities.

The media picked Kentucky to win the Southeastern Conference this season and Wheeler was named to the first team.

Big Oscar down on the block

If it weren’t for Isiah Jackson last year grabbing rebound after rebound all missed shots may have ended up in the opponent’s hands.

Help was just a few feet away in Oscar Tshiebwe but as a midseason transfer from West Virginia, all he could do was practice and not play.

He watched, learned, and banged a lot in practice. Now the 6-foot-9 255- pounder is ready to claim the block as his space. He has worked hard on his footwork and even his outside shot now floating out for 15-foot jumpers with confidence.

Kentucky also has three other 6-foot-9 players as well in returning players Lance Ware and Jacob Toppin along with freshman Daimion Collins. Tshiebwe and Ware will do the heavy dirty work under the basket while Collins and Toppin bring bigger hops and the ability to soar for balls.

There is little doubt that Tshiebwe should not be a double-double player every night.

Bryce Hopkins and CJ Fredrick are ready to light things up

Will we see the instant impact player of the season hit the floor tonight in Bryce Hopkins? The 6-foot-6 gets all the talk and hype from teammates now it’s time to show that to us.

Fredrick, who hails from Cincinnati, transferred from Iowa and is expected to knock down a lot of three-pointers this season. But he has been hampered with a procedure earlier this summer that has slowed him down.

How much he plays tonight is unknown but when he does play look for balls to be flying from behind the arc.

Don’t forget about Keion Brooks Jr. and Dontaie Allen

Two of the players that keeps us cheering last year and important pieces to this team both on the floor and helping the younger guys and transfers are Brooks and Dontaie Allen.

They need to see plenty of action too. Allen draws all the cheers when he gets in being a hometown guy, but was saddled with so much pressure to score last year when the team was faltering game after game it took its toll.

I think both of these will have huge contributions this year without all the added pressure.