Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

UK vs. ETSU | What Went Wrong, What Went Right

Kentucky is 3-1 after edging out East Tennessee State, 78-61, in Rupp Arena on a lovely Friday evening in Lexington. It was a game that saw an early 10-point deficit and ended with a convincing win, with plenty of highs and lows in between.

Let’s discuss what went right and wrong below before we call it a night, shall we?


RIGHT: Quade Green’s offense

Quade Green’s defense is a liability, so what did Quade Green do to stay on the floor in this one? He was excellent on the other end, leading his team in scoring in the game and setting a new season-high mark for a Wildcat with 21 points.

Green is the obvious MVP in the win for his scoring and scoring efficiency. Calipari said afterward that the team needs him to play aggressive and make jump shots, as he did against ETSU. Green came to Kentucky to be a facilitator for the weapons around him; maybe he needs to do more attacking and scoring of his own because he’s as good as anyone right now.

WRONG: The first 10 minutes of the game

Kentucky couldn’t do anything offensively in the beginning, while East Tennessee hit several three-pointers to give itself a pretty good lead midway through the first half. The Cats had only eight points in the first nine minutes of the game before Quade Green hit a three-pointer of his own to get a 10-point deficit back down to single digits. Green hit another jumper, and then another three-pointer, and the Cats’ run was on. But the early scoring draught cannot go unmentioned because it was very concerning.

RIGHT: Defense

After settling in and regaining the lead, Kentucky played pretty solid defense throughout the remainder of the game. The Cats forced ETSU into 19 turnovers and held them to 32 percent shooting from the field, often limiting the opposing offense to long contested threes and tough twos. They still had some slip-ups for easy buckets from time to time, but for the most part, the defense used its length to hold off the Buccaneers when the offense wasn’t doing its part.

WRONG: Free throw shooting

I probably should’ve used a bigger font for this one because it was the glaring weakness in the game. Kentucky shot a horrible 20 percent from the foul line at a 3-for-15 clip. They missed their first nine attempts at the line! Nine! That’s unacceptable and very troubling moving forward.

RIGHT: Kevin Knox’s double-double

Knox recorded the first double-double of his career with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Maybe even more exciting is the fact he hit four of his seven three-point attempts in the game.

While each of the Wildcats have struggled in various aspects of the game early in the season, Knox’s scoring has been the one constant at 14 points per game.

He good.

WRONG: Turnovers

Kentucky had 22 turnovers in this one. That’s 20 turnovers per game over the last two, and 18 turnovers per game for the season.

Knox and P.J. Washington had six apiece for 12 of the 22 against ETSU. It’s somewhat excusable early, but not for much longer.

RIGHT: Sacha Killeya-Jones

It’s time to give the starting job to Sacha Killeya-Jones. Nick Richards has held that honor for the first four games, but Killeya-Jones has separated himself from Richards in the race for the center position. Killeya-Jones played 25 minutes to Richards’ 11 against ETSU, so it’s clear he’s the preferred option. Now let’s reward him with a spot in the starting five on Monday.

WRONG: Nick Richards

My man is struggling. He’ll be fine in time, but right now is not that time.

RIGHT: P.J. Washington responded

Washington was pretty terrible against Kansas, and he bounced back with a much better game tonight. For the sake of the conversation we’ll ignore his six turnovers and 0-for-5 foul shooting, and applaud him for his rebounding and effort, which were much better.

Now let’s get back to the turnovers and foul shooting — he can’t play if he continues to do that. A power forward shouldn’t be in position to turn the ball over six times, and no one should miss all five of their free throw attempts in a game.

Still, I think Washington was better.

WRONG: They still have a long, long way to go

I still don’t know if Kentucky is good at this point in the season. If they are good, they definitely aren’t consistent. Right now it seems they’re relying on their God-given length to disrupt opposing offenses, which works, while still giving up easy scores when they get lost, which is too often. Offensively, I’m not sold they’re a good shooting team, and nobody outside Knox is going to give you consistent scoring each night.

So, are they good right now? I’m pretty confident they will be in a couple of months. Right now, though… I don’t know.

Calipari is wearing himself out in getting them ready. He said after the game, “It’s a process. I would tell our fans, just enjoy this, because I’m the one dying.”

RIGHT: They won.

And that’s good.



Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

22 responses to “UK vs. ETSU | What Went Wrong, What Went Right”

  1. Mathlete

    Won by 20, should’ve been 30+. These are definitely blue blood problems.

  2. AGSlater

    Hammer every team we play as far as spread is concerned

    1. chris43

      The only team they’ve covered the spread against is Kansas if I’m not mistaken. Tonight was a 22.5 point spread.

    2. AGSlater

      Other team dumbass

    3. UK Big Board Update

      Nothing like watching two trolls argue with each other! LOL

  3. timewilltell

    Washington is a turnover waiting to happen. Can’t make a free throw (e.g. Team USA loss) and still missing.

  4. BTownUKFan

    Sorry but this is nonsense: “That’s unacceptable and very troubling moving forward.” Four players each missed one. Knox and Washington were 1 for 9. That’s not a team issue and not reason to panic. Both had been shooting them well up to this point. Every year people run up to the edge of the cliff because freshmen act like freshmen and have rookie issues. This team has shown a toughness and a resilience we didn’t have any other teams at this stage. They’ll be fine.
    GO CATS !!!

  5. Cat68

    Thought Hami would be a different player. All the hype last year isn’t translating on the court. He can jump out of the gym (Monk-esque) but just thought he’d bring a more polished or advanced game.

    1. Kat4Life

      If you thought that, you have never actually watched Hami play prior to the season

    2. KayutsBy90

      If his game was more polished, he wouldn’t still be here.

  6. runningunnin.454

    Don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything like 3-15 FT’s. Not in college, high school, or grade school.
    Nope….never seen that.

  7. DH1967

    Cal had it right! They have a long way to go. I still love the fact that they fight during their learning stage. I look forward to March and can cringe while watching for now. I believe coach will get them straightened out!

  8. VAVandyCat

    Hands of Stone is great name for a boxer. Not so much for a power forward. In addition to the recorded turnovers, Washington had another half dozen drops, fumbles, dribble-off-the-foot turnovers. Great potential, but soft hands are the most important part of the game for a big man, and hands of stone rarely improve over a career. I hope he starts working on it now, because he’s too good of a player to let his bad handles temper his career.

  9. Kat4Life

    Hami = Rodrick Rhodes = Archie Goodwin

    1. TBW3011

      Rhodes was a stud. I’d take that in a heartbeat. Rick ran him off and he went to USC and got drafted in the first round.

  10. TBW3011

    They’ll get better, but several issues can’t be fixed. This is a 9-10 loss team. Poorest job Cal has done since he’s been here in filling out a roster. Not that most of these guys aren’t solid players, because they are. You just can’t have a roster full of 3’s and 4’s and think that will translate into a great basketball team.

    1. AGSlater

      Definitely. Its bad

  11. UK Big Board Update

    Luether July 8, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink
    Like It (0)
    And point guard Green is way overrated — a big letdown to what we’ve had over the past 2 years…

    1. AGSlater

      he is a let down actually from last 2 years. Fox, murray. Hes had 1 good game big board. You mad bro?

    2. UK Big Board Update

      Lotsa games left on the schedule. You are definitely mad.

    3. Luether

      Agree that Green played a good offensive game. He’s exceeded my expectations so far – and Cal’s…

    4. UK Big Board Update


      AGSlater February 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink | Reply
      Like It (0)
      Hawkins needs to play over Fox i guess.

      AGSlater January 18, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      When do they release NIT bracketology? That’s where this team is headed

      AGSlater January 18, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Not if, but when they lose to Arkansas they will be out of Top 25 for good. We don’t need to worry about rankings. Need to worry about missing tournament.

      AGSlater February 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      I think they will have 9-10 losses before selection day and be a 7-10 seed. No im not a Cards fan. Our resume is poor. 3-4 really bad losses and 1 decent victory. If more teams keep losing 5-6.