Kentucky Basketball: Gritty, odd, bazaar win but Cats win another grinder

Davion Mintz of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Davion Mintz of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /
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Kentucky basketball
Daimion Collins of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /

Daimion Collins finally emerges from the bench strutting his stuff

Labeled a high-flying player who bounces around like he is a human pogo stick Daimion Collins is still making the hard adjustment to college basketball. He played well in UK’s early cupcake games but has not appeared in three of Kentucky’s previous four games. Even in that one, it was for a single minute.

Well, John Calipari must have sensed this was his moment to shine and sent him into the game in the first half.

Calipari said in his postgame that had a thought in the middle of the night that led him to play Collins in this contest.

"“Daimion Collins was the difference-maker. I don’t know what woke me up in the middle of the night saying ‘lob, lob, lob’. And I watched enough of their tape, they collapse. So you have that if you have a guy to throw it to. So I told him at shootaround, we’re going to throw this lob and I’m putting you in for that reason.”"

This proved to be the perfect game for the 6-foot-9 202-pound player who possess a 42-inch vertical leap that he showcased to the Alabama fans who surely had no idea who he was.

He erupted for 10 points on 2 of 3 shooting. Well, most of his will always be slam dunks but nonetheless also drew fouls where he converted all six of these attempts. Add in six rebounds and the freshman from Atlanta, Texas proved to be a huge contributor in the win.

It was the most points he has tallied since the 12 against North Florida back in November and tied the six he had against High Point on New Year’s Eve.

He and Lance Ware played valuable minutes as Tshiebwe sat for over six minutes in the first half despite not having any fouls.

If the two continue to add minutes and contributions down the stretch this makes Kentucky an even more dangerous threat.