I won’t say Kyle Wiltjer was unstoppable last night against Alabama, but he was pretty close to it in the first half. Even when he wasn’t knocking down step-back jumpers, open three-pointers, or slow motion hook shots, Wiltjer drew help defenders and then made good passes to open teammates. He ran the offense fluently. He got everyone involved. He made smart decisions. He was everything Archie Goodwin wasn’t.
But, for whatever reason, Kyle Wiltjer wasn’t involved in the offense in the second half when that nine-point lead turned into a four-point loss. Kentucky instead turned to the one-man Archie Goodwin Show, and we all saw how that turned out.
Was it Wiltjer’s fault? It could’ve been. Was it Archie’s fault? Partially. But a lot of the blame should go on Coach Cal for letting it happen.
Everyone watching the game — from the diehard Kentucky basketball fans to your bartender at the neighborhood Buffalo Wild Wings — knew Kyle Wiltjer needed to touch the ball more in the second half, yet Kentucky continued to rely on Archie’s playmaking, if you can call it that. It was some of the most frustrating 20 minutes of basketball we’ve ever seen in the John Calipari era at Kentucky and it cost the Wildcats a game they’ve should’ve won.
There’s no denying Archie’s ability to get to the rim, but what good is it when the other four guys are sitting around watching him take on three or four defenders at a time? Isolation for Archie needs to be used sparingly within the offense. And that offense, whether Calipari will admit it or not, needed to run through Kyle Wiltjer last night.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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