Earlier this week after the Tennessee game, Calipari told reporters that he couldn’t see this team being up 20 on anybody. Or, more specifically, he said: “In the last seven or eight years, I’ve had teams that have absolutely whomped on people. And this ain’t one of ‘em. I can’t imagine this team being up 20 on anybody. We are what we are. I love this team. We’re going to be in dogfights.”
The Cats seemed to take that as a challenge and responded emphatically Saturday night by putting a 22-point hurtin’ on Auburn (with a 27 point lead at one point). So what were the differences between this victory cruise in a sold-out away game and an uglier-than-McBee’s-sh*tstache win at Rupp against a longtime SEC rival? Here, the game-changing factors that make Calipari say “Whoomp! There it is!”
Tag team, back again? Not necessarily. Turns out the Twin Towers lineup that we’ve become so enamored of over the past few games isn’t as crucial to success as we’ve thought. With Willie Cauley-Stein out indefinitely, Alex Poythress has more opportunities to play at his natural four position. I think we’ve accepted the fact that, for now at least, Poythress isn’t quite at the 15+ PPG playing level we expected after the Duke game. However, Poythress continued to make improvements in conference play with 12 points and 7 rebounds, and maintaining his steady play will be crucial in any whomping that takes place.
KW’s in the house, jump jump rejoice. Wiltjer scored 17 in the Cats’ latest certified blowout (against Eastern Michigan), as well as 17 against Tennessee and 17 against Auburn last night. There don’t seem to be in-betweens when it comes to Wiltjer’s game; either he’s on fire like he was last night- hitting jumpers, making smooth interior passes, and not embarrassing himself on defense- or he’s more of liability than a frat boy with a trust fund. If Kyle Wiltjer starts off strong and hits his shots early, the team’s chances at a 20-point win increase exponentially.
Also, can we start a movement to call Wiltjer “Mayonnaise” in the condiment analogies? White, kinda slow, when it’s good it’s really good but when it’s bad it’s really bad? Just throwing that out there.
Slam dunk it, stick it, flip it and ride. In the likely event that our three-point shots aren’t falling (see the Cats’ 0-8 start from behind the arc last night), the Cats need to continue to go inside with chutzpah. This can come in many different forms- autolobs to Nerlens and Willie, aggressive drives by Archie Goodwin and, more increasingly, Ryan Harrow, or inside passes from Wiltjer to Poythress. The Cats’ size is their greatest strength, and last night proved that they can bang inside even without one of the Twin Towers.
Now it’s time for Archie to get on the mic, and make this mother-something party hype. For most, Nerlens Noel’s Top-5-on-SportsCenter dunk over an unfortunate Auburn player was the hype moment of the game. Personally, I’m partial to the Wiltjer-Goodwin chest bump. That wasn’t the only case of Archie getting hyped throughout the game- in fact, he showed the most emotions during a game than I’ve seen from him all season. Even better? Archie was in control of himself more so than we’ve seen in recent games, with only two turnovers in a team-high 35 minutes of play. Since we know Archie is our most potent offensive threat, his success will be measured not by the free throws he attempts, but by the turnovers he doesn’t have.
(H/T Kentucky Basketball)
Here’s a shovel, can you dig it fool? @KristenGeilKSR
[powered by WordPress.]
Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
9 queries. 0.322 seconds