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Have The Cats Hit Their Next Gear?

Earlier this week Coach Cal said that he couldn’t see these Cats being up 20 on anybody. Who could argue? Since for the majority of the year scoring points seemed like an uphill battle. Guys (read: Wiltjer and Poythress) choose to defer to their teammates to create some offense. A strategy that had lead to mid-tier teams hanging around late and creating large deficits which we just could not overcome. But during the last five minutes of the game against Tennessee something changed. Wiltjer started demanding the ball and getting to the rim. The Cats finished the game on a 17-9 run to win that game by 10.

Last night Wiltjer’s great play continued as the Cats went down to Auburn and just ch rushed the Tigers. Wiltjer finished with 17 points, 4 boards, and 5 assists to lead the Cats. Wiltjer getting buckets helped the entire team as 4 other guys finished in double figures and the Cats looked as good as they have all year. So that leaves me asking have the Cats hit their next gear? Or was the game an anomaly that won’t mean much in the big picture?

The most promising evidence for an improved offense came in the return of Jorts Ball during last nights game. Terrance Jones became the post pass master during his freshman year as constant double teams would leave our guy Jorts with easy scoring opportunities. Last night Kyle Wiltjer showed an adept point-forward ability as he created easy chances for his teammates to finish. First up was back-to-back dunks for Alex Poythress followed by points in the lane for Archie and Ryan late in the game. If Kyle can keep knocking down shots, finding teammates, and battle inside then he can help get this team to that next level.

Or was the improved offense a fluke? The big man Chubb found it hard to keep up with Wiltjer (never thought I’d type that) which allowed for clearer passing lanes and lots of open shots. The huge margin  may have been more of a result of Auburn’s shooting woes than Kentucky’s scoring proficiency. You can’t count on teams going 0-15 from beyond the arc but Auburn did just that while shooting just 34% overall. The Tigers lacked the athletes to match up with the Cats and made them look like world beaters. Even Jarrod Polson was able to find his way through the lane for easy layups. The points they got last night aren’t going to comae as easy against a team like Florida.

 

So what do you all think? Have the Cats found that elusive next gear that will carry them on a wave of momentum into March? Or are they going to continue to blow teams out and Cal’s prediction of no more whompings come true? I hope the return of Jorts ball continues as it got Alex Poythress involved in the offense like never before and if it turned Josh into a superstar I’d love to see what it could do to Ms. Poythress’ baby boy.

@ACassady_KSR

 

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

28 Comments for Have The Cats Hit Their Next Gear?



  1. Brink
    4:06 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    Lets have more than one promising game before we even get into this shall we?



  2. Butt naked wonda, big brotha thunda, and the masta blasta
    4:07 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    First!



  3. Butt naked wonda, big brotha thunda, and the masta blasta
    4:07 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    Look me up on YouTube!



  4. Nick
    4:09 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    I hate to say it, but Auburn being so horrible played the biggest role in my opinion, that’s one of the worst SEC teams I remember in many a year



  5. Sheriff Buford T. Justice
    4:14 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    Too early. They’ve played 45 solid minutes of ball against two butt cheeks teams.



  6. Please stop
    4:14 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    I’m so tired of the comparisons of this team to the team two year ago!!! The team two years ago was loaded with offensive weapons. We were a great shooting team that year. This team is not near the offensive team as the team two years ago and cannot shoot the 3 like that team. Two years ago we were never out of a game because of our shooting. This year, God help us if we are in a major hole. We labor to score and on top of laboring to score we can’t defend except for Noel who is a beast of a defender. We just don’t have the pieces. Hopefully next year.



  7. Catanta
    4:17 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    EKU would have beaten Auburn. Lets wait and see how the Bama game goes.



  8. Please Stop
    4:25 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    #7 you are exactly right!!! That will be a good test. Bama has some guys who are good and they can play D. Bottom line is Auburn just folded under the bright lights. We need Willie back with his size and rebounding.



  9. Dickie Z
    4:35 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    Slow down baby, I’m about to “comae”.



  10. CJ
    4:47 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    ANDREW WIGGINS PLAYING ON ESPN IN 15 minutes TUNE IN!!!



  11. Auburn
    4:49 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    We are a complete disgrace. MSU and LSU may be the only teams that are worse than us in the sec.



  12. Good though!
    4:51 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    However horrible Tennessee and Auburn may have been we needed these confidence boosting wins to pick up the momentum. I guess Kentucky will qualify to NCAA tourney but may not go much further in the tourney based on the overall performance so far. Games against Florida and Missouri will show what they are capable of…



  13. Bamacat55
    4:58 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    I was pleasantly surprised by the KY performance in the Auburn game, although it is debatable on how good Auburn actually is. I wouldn’t want to bet on the performance of a one in a row performance but maybe we are heading in the right direction.



  14. Reality
    5:07 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    Bama is not good eaither. But compared to Auburn, theylook like a top 20 team.



  15. MustangCat
    5:13 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    Is there NO news on the football recruiting front??? Thought there’d be SOMETHING to report by now?? Two huge weekends in recruiting for football, and we get little out of it. 2kids out of nearly 30?! Petersen wasn’t on campus last weekend. What gives? Is there nothing to tell at all this weekend? Didn’t hear much out of last weekend. Don’t know what most of those guys thought?!



  16. Tdr76
    5:14 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    The cats played well, and weljer really stepped up, biput alburn is really bad. It’s going to take a few games to see if this team is maturing. A good step forward.



  17. whodat
    5:18 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    I am not sure Auburn is any worse than many another SEC bunch but we matched up very well against them and got the first real swag I have seen from this bunch in the second half. One thing is for certain if WCS is out Noel MUST stay out of foul trouble.



  18. BPsycho
    5:19 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    #10 Thanks



  19. Portis
    5:26 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    Who is Terrance Jones??? Terrance? Really? Bro you write for a Kentucky fan site how do you now know how to spell that… Also, KSR College is so stupid and useless



  20. GO BIG BLUE
    6:19 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    Auburn lost by two to illinois and they beat butler and gonzaga. Just a thought



  21. Tim
    7:34 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    The poster makes an excellent point about the interior passing potentially leading to this team finding itself. Unlike most of the people commenting here, who seem to confuse pessimism with insight, it was plain to me that the pieces were starting to fit last night, and Wiltjer’s passing and offense were the keys. His ability to get his shot off or draw defenders and dish is unique among our front-court players.



  22. Big Whoop
    7:41 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s see what happens in Tuscaloosa before we all jump for joy and make assumptions.



  23. mashburnfan1
    7:53 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    Bama sucks as well. I will wait to see how we play vs Ole Miss and UF to see where we are as a team. Don’t have to win those, although it would be great, but must compete and be in the entire game. I will say it was nice to see the guys seeming to enjoy playing together in that game.



  24. mudcreekmark
    8:30 pm January 20, 2013 Permalink

    I have said it all year, Kyle Wiltjer is the key to how far we go this year. We need to run our offense thru him like we did last night.He makes the right decision 99% of the time.



  25. wiltjer's vertical slit
    11:09 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    kyle is a freaking joke.. next year his minutes will be cut in half.. only reason he plays this year is because we have no one else to play.. unless he gets super fast and more aggressive then hes riding the pine.. ive tried to like him but he is so boring to watching its like watching water drip out or watching to flies f%^k.. BORING… TRANSFER out of lexington and take your vertical slit with ya



  26. kybigblue
    12:16 pm January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Alabama will be a better test. No question UK is much quicker with only one big man on court at a time. Wiltjer seems to be the key. His passing was good Sat. but he still needs to continue to rebound and defend. Would like to see a little more of Poytress at PF.



  27. Jim
    3:55 pm January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Remember guy’s, we played the two best teams
    in the country when we played Louisville and
    Duke and could’ve beaten both. We are going
    to get better. Hang in there and be patiant.
    All we need is to get some confidence and
    improve our freethrow shooting. This is the
    worst freethrow shooting team ever at UK.



  28. NFL Jerseys on sale
    2:07 am January 23, 2013 Permalink

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