The Blackbirds of LIU-Brookyln came into Rupp Arena for a Black Friday Beatdown Special from your University of Kentucky Wildcats. It wasn’t a great game defensively for the Cats, but the offense was unstoppable and carried UK to a 104-75 victory in front of an almost-packed crowd. Kentucky moved to 4-1 on the year with the win and the Barclays Center Classic is finally over. Finally.
It was the Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress Show for the second consecutive game. UK’s two leading scorers on the season scored 22 points a piece to combine for 44 of Kentucky’s 104 total points. If you recall, Cal said after the Morehead State game Wednesday night that he told everyone to get out of the way and let Goodwin and Poythress do their thing. “If you want to win, you’ll figure out stuff to do,” he told the other players. Tonight was no different. Goodwin and Poythress dominated the Blackbird defenders, scoring at will and scoring a lot. A whole lot, as Tom Crean would say.
Goodwin chased UK history with his 22 points, almost becoming the second player ever to record a triple-double in Kentucky blue and the first since Dec. 27, 1988. Goodwin finished with nine rebounds and nine assists in the game to go along with the 22 points. Chris Mills is still lonely on the triple-double list.
After the game, Goodwin admitted to knowing he was close. He said, “They told with three minutes left. I wish that they wouldn’t have told me because then I started thinking about it too much and trying too hard to get it. It was still a good night for me so I can live with it.”
Calipari said he didn’t know, but if someone had told him, he would’ve though it included 10 turnovers.
Poythress’ 22 points made him the second freshman in Kentucky history to ever record four consecutive 20-point games. Only Dwight Anderson from 1978-79 team has accomplished the same feat. Poythress’ last four games look like this:
— 22 points (9-for-11) vs. LIU-Brooklyn
— 20 points (6-for-12) vs. Morehead State
— 22 points (9-for-10) vs. Lafayette
— 20 points (9-for-12) vs. Duke
Some Ryan Harrow news to hold you over… Calipari expects Harrow to be back with the team Saturday and at practice on Sunday and Monday. “We want Ryan back,” Cal said after the game. “At the end of the day, I think he’ll be back tomorrow.”
I guess we’ll know for sure tomorrow and can hopefully put all the speculation to bed.
Nerlens Noel had another great game on Friday night. The nation’s top freshman had 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and five blocks. He played the best two minutes of basketball one guy can play to start the game, swatting shots on one end and dunking on kids on the other. Had he kept it up at the pace he was on, Noel would’ve finished the game with 66 points, all dunks, and 43 blocks.
Willie Cauley-Stein, the mustard to Noel’s ketchup, also played a pretty solid game. Cauley-Stein grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and tied his career-high in blocks with four. He also added 12 points in his 25 minutes for good measure.
Afterwards, Calipari said, “I thought (Noel and Cauley-Stein) were great. I think both of them played well. We had to put Willie on number one because he was doing whatever he wanted and Willie did a good job on him. It was great to see that they could do that and he could go guard an athletic four. Really, the kid is like a three because of his size and Willie guarded him and did a heck of a job. That’s when you went from 18 or 20 to 28 or 29 because you made about four plays in a row where he stopped him from scoring.”
Yes, that was Karl Towns Jr. you saw sitting behind Kentucky’s bench in UK gear. Towns, the No. 1 player in the 2015 class, is set to announce his decision on Dec. 4. It can’t be a bad thing that he was in Lexington watching the Cats play less than two weeks before his decision goes public.
Oh, he ate dinner with his good friend Brad Calipari after the game, too.
— Karl Towns (@KATis32) November 24, 2012
Come on down?
It was another off-night for Kyle Wiltjer from the beyond the arc. Wiltjer went 1-for-4 on three-point attempts, putting him at an uncharacteristic 2-for-9 in his last two games since getting wet all over Duke in Atlanta. He did add a smooth five assists, though.
Julius Mays carried the deep ball weight while Wiltjer struggled to get it going. Mays hit 3-of-6 from downtown on his way to a career-high 15 points. Mays also dished out six assists and wore that bandage for yet another game. I hope he wears it all year long.
Jon Hood had a steal, a rebound, an assist and a three-pointer in seven minutes of action. #LakeHairDontCare #Madisonville #270
If you watched the television broadcast, you, like me, probably thought LIU-Brooklyn had a player named Velociraptor. His name is actually Jamal Olaswere and he scored 22 points for the Blackbirds. He and Julian Boyd carried the load for LIU-Brooklyn and took 32 of the team’s 65 shot attempts.
Calipari took the “poop ice cream” analogy to the next level on his postgame radio show. Cal finally broke down what he means by his most popular phrase. He said, “You can put a bucket of ice cream in a bucket of poop and it’s still poop. But if you put a bit of poop in a bucket of ice cream, it isn’t ice cream.”
“Don’t be the poop in our ice cream,” he said.
Want more fun with quotes? Dave Baker had this to say about Jarrod Polson during the broadcast: “There’s Polson, making middle schoolers from all over Kentucky swoon. He’s like the Justin Bieber of the place.”
Polson’s Justin Beiber comparisons are the new “SHOOOOOOOOOOOOT!”
With the win, Kentucky moved to 1-0 after watching Lincoln together on holidays. Fox Sports South’s Tom Werne asked Willie Cauley-Stein about the team’s group date before the game and if they took anything away from the movie. The freshman big man told him, “Lincoln never gave up and that’s what I’ve been trying to do since I got here.” Werne asked him how things are going so far in Lexington and Willie said, “I still have a jersey so I guess it’s going good.”
That’ll do it for now, I suppose.