Can you believe Kentucky won that game? Me neither.
The short-handed Cats only had one healthy point guard against a Texas A&M team that was finally at full strength. A team that got out-toughed at Tennessee, Kentucky responded to their coach’s criticism by going toe-to-toe with the most physical interior in the SEC. The 74-73 win was filled with flaws, but all that matters for now is that Kentucky survived.
One Crazy Final Minute
The Cats had a few chances to finish Texas A&M, but mistakes and missed free throws gave the Aggies one too many opportunities. A Shai Gilgeous-Alexander turnover off a missed A&M free throw put them within striking range, but luckily the Aggies missed their target when the Cats left a man wide open for a corner three. Their decision to make a risky full court pass almost worked, if the refs didn’t give Kentucky a break.
Did Wenyen foul Tyler Davis? Yes. Did Isaac Humphries deserve a technical at Reed Arena. No. After what’s felt like a month of being on the wrong end of bad officiating, it feels good to catch a break in the final seconds of a feel-good win.
UK Out-Rebounded A&M
The Aggies entered Rupp Arena ranked second in the country in rebounding with 44 per game. The Cats won the rebounding battle 28-27. Kentucky also had more points in the paint, 32 to A&M’s 30. The Aggies were supposed to have an advantage in the interior but Kentucky won the war inside.
We Saw the Old Kevin Knox
Knox finally got out of his funk. The small forward was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor (2/2 3FG) to finish with 15 points. It wasn’t a perfect game, but it was the game Kentucky needed from him to get the win.
If I have to pick one bone with his game, it isn’t the four turnovers. Knox did not shoot a free throw until there was 2:44 left to play in the game. He made a few more aggressive attempts to get to the rim, but not enough to get to the free throw line, a place where interior toughness is rewarded with a free shot attempt.
The Best of the Best
Gameday will Return to Rupp
During last night’s broadcast, ESPN announced the season premiere of College Gameday will be January 20 at Rupp Arena. The hour-long show will be from the Rupp Arena floor at 11:00 a.m. Later that afternoon Zion Williamson’s decision will preface Kentucky’s match-up with Florida.
Lonzo Can’t Hang with Fox, Again
Bullying Lonzo Ball is De’Aaron Fox’s favorite hobby. He outscored Ball 15-5 and held Lonzo to 2-10 from the floor in the Kings’ losing effort to the Lakers.
De’Aaron Fox with the steal on Lonzo & reverse dunk.
Fox finished with 15 PTS, 4 STLS, 3 3PTS, 3 ASTS in 32 MINS pic.twitter.com/l9aKKQp0Ed
– Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 10, 2018
Mike Edwards will Return to Kentucky
The Kentucky football team received unexpected good news yesterday afternoon. Mike Edwards announced he will wait one more year to go to the NFL. The safety led the team in tackles (96, No. 9 in the SEC) and interceptions (4, t-3rd in the SEC). Later in the day we’ll break down what the returning underclassmen mean for Mark Stoops’ defense.
A Pair of New Podcasts
Your iTunes feed will be filled with two new wonderful podcasts from Aaron Torres and the KSR Football crew. Things got a little outta hand during the Football Podcast so it’s taken a little longer to get to the public, but I promise it’ll be worth it.
KSR in One Hour