By Maggie Davis on ©November 15th, 2018 @ 12:30am
EJ Montgomery has been making major strides throughout the past few games, and Calipari has taken note.
The freshman finished with just eight points tonight, but he brought a certain energy and aggression to the floor, while also grabbing seven rebounds and two blocks with just one turnover in 26 minutes. He could be a difference-maker for this team, but in order to do that, first he has to get on the floor.
“Now, EJ Montgomery’s going to have to play more, just how it is. So someone’s going to have to play less,” Calipari said after tonight’s victory. “That’s how it is.”
While Calipari admits Montgomery’s first-half performance wasn’t totally up to his standard, he says the big man made up for it after the break.
“First half, he didn’t dive on the floor. Guess what? I absolutely ripped him,” Calipari said. “Second half, he dove twice for balls. So it’s, again, if I accept what they want to give, that is unacceptable.”
Montgomery is just a freshman. But at the end of the day, the Cats need him.
“He’s going to make some mistakes and he’s going to get pushed sometimes,” Calipari said. “But you’ve got to have separators in the game at some point that can make a play out of nothing. He does that.”
By Jack Pilgrim on ©November 15th, 2018 @ 12:21am
How about this for a stat: Kentucky now owns the United States of America.
Following their 96-58 victory over North Dakota, the Kentucky Wildcats have now beaten a team from every state in America. Yep, all 50 states.
Before tonight, the Peace Garden State (yes, that’s their nickname) was the lone state from which the Wildcats had never played an opponent.
Now, there are only five states that Kentucky has played a team from just once: Delaware, Vermont, New Mexico, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
In more from United States/Kentucky Wildcats history, Tennessee is the state that Kentucky has played in more games, won more games, and lost more games than any other state. Yes, even their own state of Kentucky.
Also, Connecticut is now the only state with a winning record against Kentucky, edging the Cats 4-3 in the overall series. So if the Cats schedule Connecticut Technical Institute of Art and Connecticut State University Tech next season, you know why.
Take that, North Dakota.
By Drew Franklin on ©November 15th, 2018 @ 12:12am
Through three regular season games in 2018-19, Keldon Johnson leads the way at 16.7 points per game for the Wildcats; a 19-rebound game against Southern Illinois has Nick Richards leading the team in rebounding; and if you had PJ Washington and Reid Travis as the team’s leading three-point shooters, you’re the winner.
See all of the stats on the young season:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©November 15th, 2018 @ 12:04am
PJ Washington needed a big night. The sophomore had only eleven points in Kentucky’s first two games, but came out and made a statement tonight with a career-high 25 points in the Cats’ 96-58 rout of North Dakota.
What changed? The Fighting Hawks were by far Kentucky’s weakest competition thus far, which certainly helped, but PJ’s career-high four threes stretched the floor and helped the Cats maximize mismatches. After noting some problems with his stance earlier this week, John Calipari praised PJ’s shooting tonight.
“He can shoot it. He’s been working. If you watch, he went from knees to shoot it to chest and shoot it. So now he doesn’t have all that extra motion that leads to missed shots and air balls and bank misses. Even, if you watched, I got on him about his free throw. He went to his knees again and then up and stopped it, and I said, no, you get that thing right here, that’s your shot now.”
North Dakota head coach Brian Jones said PJ’s shooting gives Kentucky another dimension.
“If they can continue to do that, it’s going to make them hard to defend. Obviously, Washington really shot the ball well. But I think it’s going to help all of them so you can’t really key on Reid [Travis] inside. If they’ve got multiple bigs that can stretch the floor, it’s going to open up driving lanes for those quick guards and obviously give those bigs more room to work down low.”
Against Duke, PJ struggled with foul trouble. Against Southern Illinois, he seemed bothered by a taped-up hand. Tonight, he looked much more like himself, going 9-13 from the floor, 4-5 from beyond the arc, for 25 points with seven rebounds, a block, an assist, and a steal, all in 17 minutes. PJ still had three turnovers, but all were in the first half. His efficiency (points + rebounds + assists + steals + blocks – missed shots – turnovers) was a team-best 26 and his Game Score, a measure of productivity on a scale of 0-40, was 19.8. For comparison, his Game Score vs. Southern Illinois was -1.3.
It’s not a coincidence that PJ played with a renewed sense of urgency the first game after Calipari went back to his old school methods in practice. Calipari made it very clear this week that he’s only playing players that give 100 percent, which is what PJ delivered tonight.
“The other thing is, like I told him, I said if he chooses to come out and play with that kind of intensity, he’s a difference maker. He’s a separator. But the other guy standing straight up and down, balls going between your legs, can’t get a rebound, fumbling the ball, that guy ain’t a separator. And he is one of those guys.
“I still say he’s one of the best players. Now he’s got to go prove it. And I hate it when someone says, well, more motor, he needs more motor. That’s basically saying you’re not playing hard enough. I don’t want to hear that about any of my players. His, he, when he competes and goes after it, he’s physically tough, he’s mentally tough, he’s skilled, he’s just got to do it. That’s who he’s got to be every moment he’s on the court.”
By Drew Franklin on ©November 14th, 2018 @ 11:51pm
By Drew Franklin on ©November 14th, 2018 @ 11:36pm
Fans of Jemarl Baker will be saddened to hear Baker still isn’t practicing with the team. John Calipari said after Wednesday night’s game that Baker is still out and hasn’t practiced since the Blue-White game last month.
Baker told KSR back in September he felt healthy again for the first time in a long time and he enjoyed competing with his teammates in practice. “I feel really good now. I’m so excited. I feel good,” he said.
He participated in the Blue-White game but hasn’t done anything since due to lingering issues with his knee injury.
The timetable for a return is unclear.
By Drew Franklin on ©November 14th, 2018 @ 11:22pm
Hamidou Diallo stripped his old pal Kevin Knox and took the ball the other way for a wide open slam in the Thunder’s home game against the Knicks. However, the wide open slam did not go as planned as Diallo whiffed on the windmill finish.
HAMIDOU DIALLO. ??? pic.twitter.com/Tg8Vbyyq8q
— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) November 15, 2018
Missed dunk aside, Diallo is playing very well for OKC. They are loving him there.
By TJ Walker on ©November 14th, 2018 @ 11:12pm
That’s what we needed to see. Kentucky’s loss to Duke was shocking and eye-opening for the Cats, and that showed against Southern Illinois. Kentucky was able to get back on track Wednesday with a good ol’ fashion beat down of North Dakota. The Cats defeated the Fighting Hawks 96-58
Here are five takeaways from Kentucky’s win.
1. The Win:
Kentucky started off a little slow, but given the late start and a mostly empty Rupp Arena I understand the sleepy start. The good news is it didn’t take long for the Cats to get on track and this game was over eight minutes after it started. That’s what we were hoping and needing to see after last Tuesday.
This is easily the worst team Kentucky has played this season and the schedule will be filled with similar teams until December. Kentucky still had plenty of mistakes against North Dakota, and I’ll discuss some of them, but overall it was a much cleaner and more efficient performance.
The thing I liked is that the mistakes tonight weren’t as severe as in the first two games and seemed easily fixable. This team isn’t where it needs to be, but it may not be as far off as we thought.
2. The Mistakes:
Let’s get the negatives out of the way so we can have three straight positive takes. Here are the things I didn’t like about tonight’s game:
- Turnovers. UK had 13 turnovers against the Fighting Hawks, which isn’t as many as Friday but still too many, especially against a bad team. It seems to mostly be coming from the freshmen and P.J. Washington. They accounted for eight of the turnovers. The freshmen I understand, they’re trying to do too much and they haven’t pegged down the speed of the game just yet. But there’s no excuse for Washington. He’s been flatout careless.
- Effort. There’s still too much standing around. Again, it seems to be mostly from freshmen. I don’t think it’s laziness but the lack of understanding you can’t take off possessions at this level. They’ve only played three college games, so they’ll learn, but the sooner the better.
That’s about it. Pretty good game all around and the freshmen will get smarter and better.
It’s great news for UK that the guards have stepped up over the last 55 minutes of Kentucky’s season. Immanuel Quickley and Quade Green led the way in the final 15 minutes against Southern Illinois and those two played well tonight, but welcome to college basketball, Tyler Herro.
Herro was a star against North Dakota and showcased an ability to hit from outside, shoot midrange shots and get to the rim. It was what we were waiting to see offensively from Herro and what we should expect most nights. Kentucky needs him.
Green’s stats were good, not great. Six points, five assists and two rebounds, but I thought he didn’t make too many mistakes (one really bad pass) but I liked the way he defended.
Quickley looks like he may be UK’s point guard come March. Yes, we have a longtime and a lot of basketball until then, but he seems to be in command and you can tell the game is slowing down.
Finally some reason for optimism from UK’s backcourt.
4. P.J.’s BACK:
I was really impressed by P.J.’s bounceback game tonight. He stunk against Southern Illinois and he played with much better energy tonight. This could be an issue going forward but it was clear that P.J.’s success offensively fueled the rest of his game. That’s a dangerous thing to rely on, but it was clear that once he saw a few shots drop that he was locked in. Elite players don’t need to score to have a great game, so let’s hope this isn’t a trend for P.J.
But man could he score. A career-high four three pointers and they all looked pure. He shouldn’t become too reliant on only scoring from the perimeter, and I don’t think he will, but if he plays it properly it’s only going to make him more versatile and tougher to defend.
I still think he will be UK’s best player when it’s all said and done, but he really does need to stop the turnovers.
5. Moving Forward:
Bring on VMI for a revenge game! I don’t know much about the Keydets this season, but they lost to Pittsburgh by nearly 40 and Pittsburgh stinks.
It should be another easy win for the Cats and honestly UK should break 100 points, but let’s hope to see UK continue to work on the turnovers and gets more stops.
Tonight was a step in the right direction and I expect UK to keep it going with a blowout of VMI.
By Drew Franklin on ©November 14th, 2018 @ 11:03pm
Your University of Kentucky Wildcats are now on a two-game winning streak after getting the job done against the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota. It was a low-attended game, but the fans who braved the wintry mix saw PJ Washington return to form with 25 points and seven rebounds. Tyler Herro showed up, too; he was next with 18 points for the Cats.
Digest the numbers:
By Savannah Patton on ©November 14th, 2018 @ 10:30pm
The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.
You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.
If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.
#10 Chad Shireman
— Chad Shireman (@guitarchad1) November 14, 2018
Hope you two had fun!
#9 Derek Hess
— Derek Hess (@dhess22) November 14, 2018
Debbie is the state of KY.
— TiViNarb (@TiViNarb65) November 14, 2018
Of course they are.
#7 Nick Duran
— Nick Duran (@chakaduran23) November 14, 2018
#6 John Robic’s Hair
— John Robic's Hair (@JohnRobicsHair) November 14, 2018
#5 joey mcclure
His earliest tweak yet
— joey mcclure (@jrdunnit) November 14, 2018
In tweaks we trust.
#4 Tom Love
— Tom Love (@tomlove82) November 14, 2018
#3 Terry Goff
Always a hater!
— Terry Goff (@Goff20Terry) November 14, 2018
Pat needs to get a life.
#2 Zachary Harper
— Zachary Harper (@ZackaryHarper) November 14, 2018
He’s killing it!
#1 Josh Mackey
— Josh Mackey (@JMackey1981) November 14, 2018
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©November 14th, 2018 @ 10:01pm
It’s halftime at Rupp Arena and your Kentucky Wildcats finally resemble the team we expected coming into this season, leading the North Dakota Fighting Hawks 46-25.
The two players that needed a bounce-back game the most led the Cats in points. PJ Washington has ten (4-6 FG, 2-3 3PT), followed by Tyler Herro with nine (3-4 FG). Kentucky is hitting 52% of their shots while holding North Dakota to 33%.
North Dakota is not good, but I speak for us all when I say this is more like it.
By Drew Franklin on ©November 14th, 2018 @ 9:20pm
Tonight’s crowd might be a record-low for a Kentucky basketball game. A combination of the nasty weather, the opponent, the Cats’ recent play and the 9 p.m. start time really kept fans at home tonight.
The number that will be announced will undoubtedly be inflated, but it was about half-full at tip-off and not much better midway through the first half.
Jeff Drummond has been covering the team much longer than me and it’s the worst he has seen too:
I’ve been covering UK daily since 1999. I’ve never seen Rupp Arena like this at tip-off for a regular season game. Weather is awful tonight, tip-off is at 9 ET and opponent is North Dakota, but it still takes you aback… pic.twitter.com/vgrTy6v3r4
— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) November 15, 2018
Attendance announced at 18,555.
I didn’t see them.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©November 14th, 2018 @ 8:45pm
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