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10 Leftovers From Last Night’s Big Win Over Michigan State

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Man, I forgot what it’s like to wake up after a big basketball win. Behind defense and an incredible shooting night from Malik Monk, Kentucky knocked of #13 Michigan State last night 69-48 to move to 3-0 on the season. I just wrote about the big win a few hours ago, but let’s talk about it some more, okay?

1. I love how Malik Monk compared Madison Square Garden to his high school gym in Arkansas

Monk had seven threes last night, reminding the national media that he’s quite capable of lighting it up from the outside, thank you very much. When asked about the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden, Monk said he was used to it thanks to playing in front of big crowds at his high school in Arkansas.

“Coming from Bentonville, Arkansas, I was like the top player in Arkansas, so every game was packed for me. I had a lot of adversity because I committed to Kentucky. I’m used to a lot of fans and ‘ooohs’ and all that stuff. Adversity, I’m used to all that.”

Now, I’ve been to one of Monk’s big games in Bentonville, and while the atmosphere was good, I’m not quite sure it compares to the Champions Classic in Madison Square Garden with the whole nation watching; however, I love that Monk thinks they’re essentially the same. I mean, both gyms have hoops, right?

2. As Isaiah Briscoe said, these are not normal freshmen

The rest of the nation may have been surprised by Kentucky’s freshmen’s poise on the big stage, but not Isaiah Briscoe. The sophomore told reporters something that we’re quickly realizing: these freshmen aren’t normal freshmen.

“Malik hasn’t been shooting the ball as well as I know he can. I knew he was due for a big game. (De’Aaron) Fox came up big down the stretch. Bam played well. All the freshmen, like I said, they don’t play like ordinary freshmen. I’m comfortable with them out there on the court and I wouldn’t trade those guys for anybody.”

Me neither.

3. In fact, those freshmen factored into Briscoe’s decision to come back

When asked about his decision to come back to school after testing the NBA waters, Briscoe said knowing some of these not-normal-freshmen played a factor.

“I knew the freshman class coming in. I knew all of them from camps and everything like that. I knew they were a great group of guys, and I knew we had a chance to be special. Coach mentioned that to me before I actually decided to come back. I’m just glad to be back. I grew as a player on and off the court. That’s the reason why I came back.”

Briscoe had another huge game last night, finishing with 21 points, including a 5-5 mark from the free-throw line. In the past two games, he’s shooting 17-31 from the field and only has two turnovers. Yes, I’d say he’s grown as a player.

4. Highlight break

5. Calipari said again that De’Aaron Fox might be fast than John Wall

“He is so fast,” Cal said of the freshmen, who battled foul trouble but finished with 12 points and six assists. “I told John Wall, he’s faster than John Wall. He didn’t believe.”

Here’s a fun stat. The only two freshmen in Kentucky basketball history to have at least 45 points and 21 assists through their first three games? John Wall and De’Aaron Fox.

That’s why it’s so fitting that…

6. John Wall was there

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

In case you missed the ESPN broadcast, Calipari’s former pupil was on the sidelines to see Fox and the Cats for himself. When asked about the team, whom he last saw at Madness, Wall confirmed that some of the NBA guys that were in town that weekend played pick-up against them and were very impressed. I love how he’s looking at the bench like a proud big brother. Wall posted this picture on Instagram afterwards as he made his way to Philly for tonight’s game vs. the 76ers:

When you was to cool for school lol Good win tonight BBN I love you !! #BYB #5Deep #WallWay

A photo posted by johnwall (@johnwall) on

Love you too.

7. The most encouraging sign?

While Michigan State’s freshmen shied at the spotlight, Kentucky’s freshmen embraced it, especially on the defensive end. Tom Izzo said as much after the game.

“I was very disappointed in the way we were kind of ‘deer in the headlights,’ but you know you have four freshmen playing at Madison Square Garden and coming off the Hawaii trip, that’s the way we played,” Izzo said. “I think John [Calipari] did a hell of a job. I do think that is one of his better defensive teams. They did a very good job.”

The much ballyhooed Miles Bridges finished with six points and nine turnovers, and was clearly emotional on the sidelines in the final seconds. Afterwards, Izzo told reporters that Bridges said he got “embarrassed.”

8. Calipari’s entire press conference if you missed it

9. Thank you, Kansas

If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and check It’s beautiful:


Kansas knocked of #1 Duke 77-75 on a last second shot by Frank Mason III in the nightcap, giving Kentucky fans the best possible outcome. If you’re like me and didn’t stay up for the end of the game, enjoy the final seconds below:

I love that college basketball is back, and I cannot wait for the showdown between the Cats and the Jayhawks in January.

10. Kentucky should be ranked #1 on Monday

Assuming they beat Duquesne on Sunday, of course. I was kind of enjoying this flying under the radar thing, but hey, being the number one team in the land is never a bad thing.

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.

15 Comments for 10 Leftovers From Last Night’s Big Win Over Michigan State

  1. Duuuuuude
    9:21 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

    Coach Cal gave a great interview at 9:00 on Fox Business.

  2. UKFaninNY
    9:23 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

    Duke lost at the buzzer while missing three of their best players to a top ten team and you think UK should be ranked #1?

    I love UK but we’ll agree to disagree here

    • Mathlete
      10:13 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

      I agree Duke isn’t at full strength and we should probably reserve final judgment until they are. As of today though, with 3 of their top players on the bench, they’re not the best team in the NCAA and that’s what the rankings are meant to reflect.

  3. EdC
    9:23 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

    Bridges getting embarrassed might have something to do with the way he carries himself and acts. When you’re that cocky then whining to the refs all the time and don’t produce you SHOULD be embarrassed. In contrast, watch how the UK players play with a smile on their faces. Yea they strut now and then but not the whole game and they don’t cry to the refs the whole game. Bam was starting to whine quite a bit and did get some rather touchy calls BUT if he would actually position himself for a rebound it might help that.

    • foamfinger
      9:47 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

      You have to hand it to Cal to get high character players who don’t whine. And he can get them into line like he did with Cousins.

    • Mathlete
      10:10 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

      Bridges’ constant whining to the refs made me think we were playing Duke instead of Sparty

    • Bluebloodtoo
      11:43 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

      I do believe that Cal gets high character players, but that whining/entitlement is certainly still there in almost every group. How quickly we forget about the Harrison twins and Cousins.

  4. Sentient Third Eye
    9:24 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

    Michigan State is probably a better team than they showed last night. I was impressed by Bridges’ talent, but his lack of composure was his undoing. It makes me appreciate how well and how quickly Cal gets his players ready for the big stage.

  5. UKFaninNY
    9:48 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

    eff Goodman
    ESPN Insider

    Jeff Goodman –
    The NBA guys I spoke to during and after last night’s games said that Malik Monk was by far most impressive frosh — because known as an inconsistent shooter, made 7 3’s. “He’s so explosive and can shoot it. I wish he was 6-5 and not 6-3, though.” Other than Monk, most of the NBA folks weren’t all that impressed with the freshmen (remember, there was no Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum or Marques Bolden). Josh Jackson made a couple perimeter shots, and some were blown away by De’Aaron Fox’s pure speed with the ball in his hands. The biggest disappointment? “Bam (Adebayo). I know he’s a physical specimen,” said one GM. “But he has a long way to go.”

    Bam looked bad to me too

  6. Mathlete
    10:09 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

    Let’s be real… Miles Bridges is going to be a beast as soon as he figures out that he doesn’t have to do it all himself anymore. That’s something Cal has been preaching to his guys all summer and it showed with how well we moved the ball around and made extra passes quickly when the opportunity for a shot or a drive wasn’t there.

    Anyone else absolutely *love* the extra effort from Briscoe last night? He was diving and sliding around all night like he was running the bases at Yankee Stadium. Humphries was in full tasmanian devil mode all last night too, he’s turning into Jorts 2.0 and I’m excited for him to show off his skills more this year.

    I’m impressed with this team so far. Matt was right, it’s going to be fun watching them this year.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      11:46 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

      haha… Yeah I remember during the game last night I was thinking to myself that Briscoe spends more time on the floor than any other UK player that I can remember.

  7. Sentient Third Eye
    10:11 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

    Bam’s adjustment to the college game mirrors that of DeMarcus Cousins. He can’t get any continuity because he can’t stay on the court because of fouls. But when he figures it out in the coming weeks, he will become a force.

  8. Bluebloodtoo
    11:39 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

    I have to give Wall props for how he handled those questions about Fox. He was very gracious and selfless in his answers. That’s a good sign for a leader.

  9. Bluebloodtoo
    11:50 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

    Also, Fox. I love to watch him guard the guy who’s bringing the ball down the court. Especially when the ballhandler is trying to push tempo. The ballhandler looks like he’s trying to break land speed records and fox appears to just be strolling along in front of him. Such a neat thing to watch.

  10. FatSparxxx
    11:54 am November 16, 2016 Permalink

    Check us out ohio and ky people