Kentucky Basketball pulls away for win that should have been much easier

Kellan Grady. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Kellan Grady. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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The Kentucky basketball team continues its run playing low profile teams, but what should have been an early blowout took longer to secure winning 86-61 over visiting Albany on Monday night.

Big Blue came in a 28 point favorite and failed to cover the spread despite its starters playing most of the game, and just barely covered the over of 136 points according to WynnBets odds before tipoff.

Once again the Wildcats were without the services of Lance Ware or Jacob Toppin who continue to rehab from injuries. The team could have benefited from the energy both bring to the floor.

Davion Mintz was also a scratch due to an illness, and they really missed his smooth stroke scoring and veteran leadership to get them moving into a higher gear.

Short-handed Kentucky basketball pulls away in second half over Albany

That left just eight available scholarship players. That meant the three off the bench included Daimion Collins who scored six points, and Bryce Hopkins two points.  Dontaie Allen looked to finally have quality minutes with Mintz out but added zero points. The five shots Allen launched were all from behind the arc, and each missed its mark.

Coach John Calipari was asked about Allen after the game.

"“You have to understand, I kept saying, just keep shooting. Then I told him after the game I probably when I go to my office tonight, I will probably see you in the gym shooting, right? Because you’re getting your opportunity. Now you’ve got to take advantage. We need him. You know, we need him.”"

The game seemed to never really have much flow and Kentucky needed nearly 14 minutes before dishing out its first assist of the night. They did finish with 13 but turned it over 17 times to negate the assist to turnover percentage.

When they do turn on the scoring efficiently this Kentucky team can fill it up, although it’s against lesser competition.

In five games so far UK has eclipsed the 80 point mark three times. Last year’s squad only exceeded that total a single time in their first 13 games.

They did land all five of their starters in double figures, but once again down low Oscar Tshiebwe found himself in foul trouble much of the game just like the Ohio game on Saturday. He still finished with a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Exactly what Calipari takes away from this game is that his team needs to be much more physical and while getting better still has a ways to go. Oh and some better November competition wouldn’t hurt.

Here are three quick takeaways.