With 17:30 left in the game Florida had just scored to retake a 21 point lead. From that point the Cats exploded on a 15-0 run to cut the lead to six point with 12:25 to go. The Cats showed a flash of the team we all expected them to be and perhaps offered one final hope for some post-season success. Here’s what I saw the Cats get right during that explosive 5 minutes:
For a bit Kentucky looked like the poised team ready to roll while Florida started to play tight. One thing that was present out of the second half gates was improved defensive intensity. The Cats were all over Florida as they blocked shots and forced the Gators into bad plays. Twice down the floor UF walked as they fell into a UK trap. Another possession James Young came up with a steal that lead to a transition bucket. For a team that has struggled all season long on the defensive end it was a nice sequence that displayed just how effective the team can be when the defense is working.
Finishing In Transition
Not only were the Cats finding success on the defensive end during that five minute span but they also were clicking offensively for the first time in what seems like weeks. During that stretch they scored on 7 of their 8 possessions and grabbed three offensive rebounds. The team has struggled to move the ball in transition all season long while also having issues finishing at the rim. Today they showcased an ability to move the ball to the rim for an easy score and almost made it look easy. For five minutes they looked like the team we all expected them to be before Donovan could adjust and the Cats ran out of steam.
Earlier this week Calipari talked about his teams finally clicking at all different times during the season. During that five minute stretch when the Cats had nothing else to lose thy finally looked like the light had come on. Now we are on to the SEC tournament and the rest of the postseason. If UK can somehow stretch that five minutes into 40 then maybe they can find the magic to make a run. As Dakari said after the game they still believe they can do it so we need to as well. That five minute run was the one glimmer of hope the Cats have left to salvage a season.