On a night where Kentucky’s youth could easily have lost them the game, Isaiah Briscoe was a savior. The sophomore guard had a career-high 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and only 1 turnover in tonight’s win over Vanderbilt, but more importantly, he showed poise down the stretch, putting the Cats on his back on drive to the basket after drive to the basket. We’ll get to Briscoe’s heroics in a minute, but first, a funny moment from tonight’s postgame press conference. Briscoe — who can put his head down and drive to the basket with the best of them — was asked if he ever loses sight of the rim when he’s driving the lane in traffic.
Reporter: “When you’re driving through traffic, do you lose sight of the rim?”
Briscoe: “No, I know where the rim’s at. It’s been in the same spot for 20 years.”
LOL. In all seriousness, Briscoe was fantastic, and without him, Kentucky would probably have lost. Calipari admitted as much…even if he couldn’t help but nitpick.
“He has played well but he had 7 rebounds. He did more — 5 assists, 1 turn(over) — there were a couple plays, again, he’s 10-18 and I’m on him when he took two jumpers and he should have driven the ball, but I want him to just play. He’s not the issue. He gets it and he knows.”
“I just left him in. And he was good. The only thing I told him was, you saw when he was bringing the ball up — he’s played point, but he’s not — you can’t get into a walk it up game with a team like this. You have to always keep them on their heels,” Cal said, lamenting about how Briscoe was bringing the ball up too slowly with Fox out. “He was kind of jogging it up. Then I called him and said, listen, you jog it up one more time, I’m putting them in with two fouls because we can’t play this way. And then he started playing on
“He’s fast. And how about how he guarded the ball? He just went up and — he has a will to win. All the stuff he needed to work on, he has. From his free throw shooting to his three to his handle, his assist to turnover ratio is ridiculous. So, I’m proud of him.”
We all are.