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Wenyen Gabriel was the real MVP today

He may not have flashy numbers like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Kevin Knox but Wenyen Gabriel was a big reason Kentucky beat Vanderbilt today.

Gabriel finished with seven points (3-8), nine rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one steal in 29 minutes, but his energy extended past the box score. Afterwards, John Calipari said he can’t afford to leave Wenyen off the floor for too long because most times, he’s the only guy showing consistent effort.

“Wenyen’s effort, it’s just — you’ve gotta keep him in the game,” Cal said.

The difference between freshman Wenyen and sophomore Wenyen? Confidence. On one play in the first half, he channeled Josh Harrellson when he swatted Saban Lee’s shot then saved the ball by bouncing it off Lee as he went out of bounds.

After the Texas A&M game, Calipari said PJ Washington was the only player exhibiting toughness; today, Cal said he failed to include Wenyen in that rare air.

“Wenyen was the other one,” Cal said. “He’s always done that.”

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander agreed.

“Wenyen was big for us today and that’s what we all expect from him, the energy he brings. He always plays 100% all of the time and does what we need to win. He did a good job today.”

Yes, he did.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

13 responses to “Wenyen Gabriel was the real MVP today”

  1. Luether

    Can’t be happy with 25% FT shooting by WG. This alone could have cost us the game had Vandy played competently down the stretch…

    1. 4everUKblue

      Too bad for you he made some big plays down the stretch and doesn’t play for your team LittleBrother.

  2. Aar

    Based upon his play so far this season, I think Gabriel will be ready for the pros by the end of the season. He can contribute as a “D and 3” guy already as a stretch 4. If he continues the rate of progression he’s shown so far this season, he should be able to bring more by the post-season. I’m not saying “he gone” or anything like that and he may not be a lock for the NBA but nearly ready to contribute at the pro level.

    1. Peas and Carrots

      I think Wenyen is capable and on the track to be an NBA player but i don’t see it after this year. If he keeps progressing he could slide in to a lottery pick after his junior year like WCS.

    2. crazycatfan65

      Hes going to have to learn how to dribble the ball before even thinking about the NBA next year.

    3. Luether

      Ha! There’s not one guy on this Team that’s ready for the pros – least of all WG…

  3. RexRox

    “he swatted Saban Lee’s shot then saved the ball by bouncing it off Lee as he went out of bounds.” – highlight of the game. Lee challenged Gabriel and got educated.

  4. Mathlete

    Wenyen would lead the team if hustle was a stat

    1. Luether

      And if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his a$$ every time he jumps…

  5. EdC

    I am a huge Wenyen fan but he wasn’t the real mvp.

    Yes he seems to work hardest and get the most 50/50s, etc. but SGA played 10 more minutes, shot 7-11 vs Wenyen’s 3-8 shot 7-10 free throws vs Wenyen’s 1-4 had 6 assists, 3 turovers (2:1) vs Wenyen’s 1 assist, 1 turnover (1:1) .

    Wenyen did get 2 blocks vs 0 and and 9 rebounds vs 4. Of course we lose without Wenyen but SGA is pretty clearly the MVP.

  6. terwilliger

    Any lip readers want to give it a shot? Looks like “don’t bring that sh*t!” To me. Love it!

  7. vandzandz

    I’ve grown to love WG. His hustle, determination, passion and hard work should be a inspiration to the rest of this Kentucky team.

  8. Jesus H. Chrysler

    The force is strong within The Dark Knight #32