Kentucky Basketball: Wildcats hose down another SEC foe looking to burn UK

Visiting Kentucky Wildcats fans cheer (Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports)
Visiting Kentucky Wildcats fans cheer (Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kentucky basketball
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari (Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports) /

There were moments of concern as BBN started seeing warning lights go off

Like its game against Alabama on Saturday this one too wasn’t joyous to watch and caused moments of angst namely getting manhandled on the glass and what the hell has happened to Sahvir Wheeler’s shot?

Simply put in the first half South Carolina was handing it to Kentucky in the paint and on the boards. Especially the offensive end.

It is the third straight game UK has been outrebounded first by Vanderbilt and then by Alabama on Saturday. When teams start throwing their weight around and their backends into the Wildcats with physical play the rebounding seems to disappear.

Calipari made a point of that when asked at halftime leaving the court.

"“We’ve got to rebound, that’s the biggest thing. And we’ve got to play through bumps… But if we don’t rebound, we won’t win the game. And our guards gave up as many as our bigs.”"

Gamecocks coach Frank Martin will through every pound of flesh he has on the court and bench at you and the result was his team owning the offensive glass 22-8. They cashed in for 17 second-chance points to keep them fighting till the end.

There is little doubt this weakness has been spotted by opposing coaches so get ready for a lot of banging and bumping down the stretch.

Then there is Wheeler’s inability to put the ball in the basket suddenly – well at least for the past three games.

He was on fire both shooting and assisting and going for rebounds but for the last three, he is whiffed on 17 attempted shots. He is making free throws at least and dished out 11 assists against South Carolina.

When the shots don’t go down they coincide with his turnovers going up. He has 11 turnovers in this same stretch and 69 for the season. The upside is he has 159 assists for the year.

However, this team needs all its players on the same page. Here is hoping he can find that shot and the players start crashing the boards.

Kentucky grinds out win over Bama. dark. Next