Kentucky Basketball: A tale of two halves Cats have to earn win over Miles

Kentucky guard Dontaie Allen (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky guard Dontaie Allen (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Exhibition or regular season everyone takes their best shot at Kentucky basketball and Miles College did just that in the opening half before the Wildcats finally battled back for a hard-fought 80-71 win on Friday night.

The Golden Bears, a Division II school with an enrolment of 1,501 students, stepped on the Rupp Arena floor, and for nearly 23 minutes led the No. 10 ranked Wildcats before finally surrendering the lead but not the will to fight.

It was the final tuneup before the season opener on Tuesday when UK tips off the season with Duke in the Champions Classic in Madison Square Garden.

Kentucky basketball given all it can handle by Miles College

Normally it would not be a concern with a typical John Calipari roster busting with all freshmen, but this team is loaded with veterans and returning players and should have played better.

There is no real panic, but I believe Cal and the coaches have a lot more film to dissect and go over with the players than if it had been a 50 point blowout.

Can’t you hear Cal telling his players “See I told you.” over and over again.

Lack of defense again proved pivotal in the opening half, just as it was in last week’s win over Kentucky Wesleyan. It also exposed the lack of help defense when the post is left empty.

Kentucky basketball did get 36 points in the paint, 27 points off the bench, and 26 points off of 18 Miles turnovers.

Calipari said in his post-game media conference that he would like to see his Cats get more from the interior players.

"“We’re going to have to play better. We have to have some post presence. You guys know what I say when you have no post presence. You’ve got to be able to throw it there and get a couple easy baskets. So it’s both defensively and offensively.”"

Well give credit to Miles they came in unafraid and shot the lights out in the opening stanza after TyTy Washington scored off the opening tip for Kentucky the Golden Bears knocked down shot after shot.

Starting for UK was Keion Brooks Jr. Kellen Grady, Oscar Tschiebwe, TyTy Washington, and Sahvir Wheeler and that lineup didn’t disappoint in the end. Only Tschiebwe struggled to score only getting 4 points of one bucket and two free throws but pulled down 12 rebounds.

Calipari said the big man missed four days of practice this past week with an injury and it showed.

What did we learn from the tale of two halves? Let’s take a look.