I wasn’t alive for the comeback against LSU in 1994. Sure, I have heard stories and seen replays and points-wise, that comeback may never be topped. If we are talking sheer doubt before the comeback happened? I am rolling with yesterday’s win over Florida.
Down Ashton Hagans and with Immanuel Quickley on the bench after fouling out, the Cats stormed back from an 18 point deficit to spoil the Gators senior day; 71-70.
Here is the news you need to know to start your day:
‘Junior Nick Richards’ returned in the second half
After playing a rough first half of basketball, ‘Junior Nick Richards’ took over in the second half to help lead the Cats to the win.
It was no secret that with Maxey struggling to score and Quickley on the bench with five fouls, Richards was going to have to step up and make big plays when it counts. In that half, he finished with 17 points and 5 rebounds on 7-11 shooting. Maybe the most impressive stat was a +/- of 15 which was the highest in the game during the half.
If Kentucky wants to make a run in the NCAA tournament starting next week, Richards is going to have to play like he did in the second half yesterday. If he does? Watch out.
Keion Brooks plays his best game as a Cat
Early in the first half, when it looked like it was going to be all doom and gloom for the blue and white, I texted my dad and made a comment about Keion Brooks struggling early. I am now forced to eat a massive plate of crow after his performance yesterday.
The freshman had 10 points and 3 rebounds. His most important basket of the game was a five-foot floater in the closing minute that helped the Cats draw to within 1.
Don’t forget that Keion Brooks was a five-star recruit. He can score. UK wants to get it inside against the zone but can’t. He creates another one-on-one scoring situation. He has a nice mid-range pull-up game. @KentuckyRivals @RowlandRIVALS @TravGraf_Rivals pic.twitter.com/rRmUvXhzZo
— David Sisk (@CoachDavidSisk) March 7, 2020
Fans have waited for the coming-out party for Brooks, but he hasn’t quite been able to do it. Could yesterday be the moment where it all clicks for him?
Ashton Hagans doesn’t travel; Watches game at Coal Lodge
I don’t think it came as a surprise to anyone when a little over an hour before the game yesterday that John Calipari announced that Ashton Hagans did not make the trip to Gainesville.
At the same time, it should be completely obvious how important he is to this team’s success. In the first half, the offense really struggled from the field and Florida seemed to have whatever they wanted on the offensive side of the ball. If not for his offense (which can really struggle), this team needs him for his defense. Just look at yesterday as the best example.
The biggest pro to yesterday was seeing Hagans celebrate while watching the game from the Coal Lodge. The guard went live on Instagram in the closing minutes with natural reactions to all of the big moments. If you missed them, you can find them again on our earlier post:
SEC Tournament set in stone
The SEC tournament in Nashville has officially been set. While it has been known for over a week that Kentucky would be #1 seed and play at 1 pm EST every day, the potential opponent has been in fluctuation.
Yesterday, we learned that Kentucky will play either Alabama or Tennessee in the SEC quarterfinals. The Cats beat the Tide in early January while splitting the season series with the Vols. Personally, I really want Tennessee. Although it would fall into the equivalent of playing Louisville in the NCAA tournament; if you win, it is fantastic, if you lose, you will never hear the end of it…
One thing that also stood out to me was the fall of Florida. If the Gators would have held on yesterday, they would have been the two-seed. Instead, they drop all the way to the five which would force them to win four games in four days to win the title.
UK Women fall in SEC Semifinals
While it was a positive day in a lot of Kentucky sports, the UK women saw their run in the SEC tournament come to a halt yesterday after a loss to Mississippi State.
The team was leading at the half but only shot 34% from the field with the Bulldogs shooting over 50%. The recipe for disaster ended in such and the Cats fell 77-59.
For the recap, you can click the link below:
Kentucky Baseball moves above .500
After having their originally scheduled baseball series against Bradley canceled this weekend, the Cats scrambled to find opponents to fill their weekend series. They found help in looking to the south where they saw that Norfolk State was facing EKU in a series in Richmond and to the north where NKU is hosting Oakland.
Yesterday, the Cats took down the Trojans of Norfolk State with a commanding 11-1 victory.
Cats win and all is right at Kentucky Proud Park on Saturday night…
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 8, 2020
This afternoon, they will host Oakland for a doubleheader with game one beginning at 1 pm at Kentucky Proud Park.
UK Softball opens SEC schedule with win over Texas A&M
Continuing in the comeback mood, the UK Softball team came back from an 8-1 deficit to pick up SEC win number one over Texas A&M 11-9. Senior Alex Martens hit two home runs and knocked in six runs to pace the #10 ranked Cats.
A look at how we started the SECond season 1-0 ? pic.twitter.com/06sILDTfjg
— Kentucky Softball (@UKsoftball) March 8, 2020
They will host Texas A&M against this evening at 7 pm on the SEC Network.
That wraps up our recap post for today. We are officially one week away from knowing when, where, and who the Cats will playing in the NCAA Tournament. Personally, I can’t wait. Go Cats!