Kentucky Basketball: Grandpa Grady leads short-handed Cats past Bama

Kentucky Wildcats guard Kellan Grady Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky Wildcats guard Kellan Grady Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kentucky basketball
Kentucky guard Davion Mintz ( Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /

Kentucky doesn’t flinch or back down as Calipari keeps his team fighting

While the focus will be on the players over on the bench you have to credit John Calipari, his assistants, and the other players for willing this team to fight.

And that’s what they did.

Kentucky didn’t commit its first turnover until there was 4:45 left in the first half and never looked dazed or confused despite Bama leading 41-28 with just over 5 minutes to go in the half.

Kentucky went on a 13-0 run to close out the half as Rupp was rocking causing the Tide to go scoreless for in the final 3:29.

Behind the backing of a raucous Rupp Arena crowd, Big Blue finally took the lead for the first time with 47 seconds to play after OscarTshiebwe blocked a shot, found Mintz near mid-court who fired to Grady who was clapping for the ball and the Davidson transfer was nothing but net from the left corner.

The half included a technical being called on Alabama for slapping Lance Ware on the cheek. That drew the ire of Calipari and clearly used it for additional motivation.

After trailing 46-34 the Cats went on an impressive 37-12 run to take 71-58 lead. In the second half, they went on a 20-2 run that opened up a 73-58 lead. After shooting lights out in the opening half the Tide misfired on 15 of their last 16 3-point attempts at the UK lead grew.

Even more impressive Kentucky never subbed in for the first 11:06 of the second half.

Calipari was asked about his preparation as well as how his team played, the low turnovers and yelling.

"“Low turnovers. The big guys got turnovers, the guards, Kellan had two. Davion played that whole game. I was yelling at the staff because they were saying ‘you’ve got to get Kellan out, he’s exhausted. You’ve got to get Kellan (Grady) out. He’s exhausted, and then he bangs a three. You want me to take him out? You want him out? If anybody was close enough to the bench saying, he yells at everybody, yeah, I yell at everybody. The only person I can’t yell at is the princess. She won’t take it. She’s like, no, not happening.”"

There was never a let-down and that is what wins a championship.