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10 Takeaways From Kentucky’s Fun Win Over Mizzou

College basketball may be falling apart behind the scenes, but in Kentucky, things are coming together, and at the right time.

Kentucky looked great for a third straight game on Saturday with a redemption win over Missouri. The 87-66 victory stretched UK’s current win streak to three and pushed the ugly four-game losing streak farther back in the rearview mirror. It also propelled the Cats in the SEC standings, which had a six-way tie for third place entering the day.

As I’m sure you saw, there is a lot to be excited about from the blowout win, Kentucky’s 20th on the season. Join me in numbering that excitement in this weekend’s edition of the 10 takeaways and observations from the game.

 

1. Six of the Cats reached double digits.

The Cats shared the rock and got everyone involved as six players scored 10+ points in the game. Kevin Knox led the bunch with 21 points; followed by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 15; Quade Green and P.J. Washington with 12 apiece; and Jarred Vanderbilt and Hamidou Diallo, each with 11. Gilgeous-Alexander also had eight of the team’s 16 assists. It was a great game for the offense, which is finally answering Calipari’s call to trust each other.

2. Jarred Vanderbilt was a rebounding machine.

Vanderbilt matched his career-high in rebounds (11) with 15 minutes still left in the game, and finished it out with a remarkable 15 rebounds in a career-high 27 minutes of action. The big night produced the first double-double of his career, and you’d be smart in assuming it won’t be his last.

Oh, and he was perfect from the field, so it’s time we lay off his scoring ability too. He’s playing insanely well.

3. Hamidou Diallo smiled again.

Diallo got a warm reception from Rupp Arena when he drained a three-pointer early in the game. He would go on to hit another two three-pointers, and throw down a big dunk, all part of a bounce-back game for him. Hopefully, it got him out of the nasty funk he’s been in and will get his confidence back up because he’s too good to be a non-factor like he had been in recent weeks. Good for Hami.

4. The win likely punched Kentucky’s ticket to the dance.

Not that there was any serious doubt about Kentucky’s postseason future, but let’s say there was; it’s gone now.

5. Missouri scored all of its points on that one guy’s stepback three.

Kassius Robertson has one move and it’s a deadly one. You know what I’m talking about — that stepback contested three-pointer he kept taking over and over. I think it’s the only way Mizzou scored all night. Good for him. He can step back to Missouri with the L.

6. Michael Porter Jr. DNP

Mizzou’s Michael Porter Jr. once projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft, decided not to test his back against Kentucky. After missing all but two minutes in the first game of the season, Porter Jr. was cleared to return to basketball this past Thursday. There was talk that he might give it a go in Rupp, but he did not get out of his warmups.

I will say, though: Porter Jr. looked like the best basketball player ever in the pregame. I watched him hit about 49 of 50 three-pointers, some as deep as the UK logo, prior to the game. He has a great outside shot and plenty of size and athleticism to go with it. He’ll be special if he can stay healthy.

7. Where is Jemarl Baker?

I couldn’t help but notice Jemarl Baker wasn’t on the UK bench for yet another game. I do not know what’s going on with Baker, but something’s up there. He’s been missing from the bench the last couple of games.

Tai Wynyard was also MIA again.

8. E.J. Montgomery saw a good game.

Saturday was a big recruiting night for the future of UK basketball. E.J. Montgomery was the biggest name in attendance; the five-star power forward, ranked sixth overall in the 2018 class, was on an unofficial visit. UK also hosted KyKy Tandy, an in-state kid out of University Heights Academy in Hopkinsville, and point guard Elijah Wood, a 2020 prospect.

9. The 1978 reunion was very cool.

The ’78 national champs were honored at halftime with player-by-player introductions after a special tribute video to their special season. Like many of you, I didn’t exist when Joe B. Hall coached the Cats to a 30-2 record and the title, but it was still a very cool experience to be in Rupp Arena as they were celebrated, 40 years later.

10. It’s impossible to not be excitement about March.

If you watched Kentucky’s last three games, you know they’re looking much better each time out as the pieces are finally falling into place. The fans who wrote this team off as “never getting out of the first weekend” may want to backpedal on that mindset and keep an open mind toward what can happen. I’m not saying this team will do anything amazing, but you can’t ignore the potential of some fun in March if they keep pushing forward. And as we’ve seen around the landscape of college basketball, there isn’t an unbeatable team in the country.

All together now… “I like my team.”

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

56 Comments for 10 Takeaways From Kentucky’s Fun Win Over Mizzou



  1. Kat4Life
    10:45 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    Unquestionably a great win, glad to see Diallo have a respectable game. This team may fool us yet.



  2. wyatts1
    10:46 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    It’s been a bumpy road but things are beginning to come together at the right time of the year. Like I’ve said all season, these kids would eventually get their stuff together and coach Cal’s teams has always played better going into March. Still worried about Richards and diallo but all in all this is a top ten 10 team when their hitting and playing like this. Any haters who says differently are mental midgets. #GOBIGBlUE!!



    • kenny
      10:53 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      You would think our fans would have some faith in Cal. More times than not his teams get better with time. That’s to be expected with a young group.



    • Miller45
      12:29 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      I do agree with you, but while there has undoubtedly been a world of doubt and lack of confidence in Cal, I feel like a good deal of that may be frustrated anger from fans to losing games they should have been losing coming across as being lack of faith perhaps?



    • Atg2112
      11:01 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Most of them just use every issue our boys have/had and fixate on it. Some people cannot wait to call out flaws in others, usually, they do it to make their own terrible lives seem better.



    • wyatts1
      11:03 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      I think 95% of BBN knows and understands that kenny, but once you start talking about UK on any message boards the haters come outta the shadows and try to make everyone as miserable as they are.



    • Miller45
      12:49 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      again, I do agree, and while being aware that the grind and process has to happen, a lot of people do get frustrated when every misstep is justified or blamed on having such a youthful roster. (among some other things like inexperience, confidence, attitude) but always, always, always blamed on youth and it gets to the point of just like “dude, you are the one who built this roster cal”



    • BigBlueNationDude
      1:44 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Top 10 team? Huh wonder why we are unranked. Guess everyone is mental. And short.



    • Atg2112
      2:20 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Bbndude, just curious: Do you write your own material? Or have you got a team of highly skilled comedians spurning out this magic mountain of hilarity that are your posts? Does bradcal get the ones you pass on? Just curious as to how the genius that’s going to put me in the ER to find my stomach in stitches and my sides split does it! Just try and tone down the rest of your expertly crafted responses for the night, I don’t want to wake up the neighborhood. Can’t wait to read your razor sharp comedy quibs tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll be able to sleep!



    • 4everUKblue
      6:38 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Man Atg is all over it. I agree with everything you said. BBNDude is really Slater. If you remember he is one of those miserable people who masquerade as a fan, but he is really the kid in middle school everyone picked on. And by the way, he’s still in middle school.



    • 4everUKblue
      7:17 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Oh and by the way Slater aka BBNDude, the rankings don’t come out until Tuesday, being the expert on college basketball that you are I’m surprised you didn’t know that. . And you’re the only one on this thread that is mental and short.



    • henderblue
      8:45 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Shouldn’t we feel sorry for BBND? Isn’t it obvious that his best friends are all right here? I mean, why else would a U6 fan be on here constantly? If things were going as bad for us as they are for his team, I can’t imagine that I would be on the U6 fan site trying to spew misery and woe. Maybe I might be playing cards with friends or taking in a movie. My guess is he doesn’t have any friends and we maybe should have a little pity on him, right?…nah. BBND you should try Seinfeld reruns. They’re still funny.



    • Bull Filmer
      8:07 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Kenny is correct. If you lost the faith, it’s time to renew this Lenten season. Personally, I lob=ve being CALtholic.



    • Bull Filmer
      8:08 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      sp: LOVE



    • 4everUKblue
      9:07 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Agreed Henderblue. It’s a shame BBNDude/Slater is not smart enough to realize he’s the laughingstock of this site.



    • CatManDo
      9:10 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      They prefer to called “mental little people “.



  3. demoCrAT
    10:46 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    10a. SKJ will be transferring after. Visibly displeased on the bench.



    • Chacosrule
      10:51 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Agreed. He gone.



    • Rise
      10:54 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      I noticed that as well.



    • T-wah
      11:25 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      It was pretty apparent when the camera focused on him sitting there shaking his head as Cal walked by. I agree – he gone.



    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      1:21 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      I hope SKJ and Baker return and are integral parts of future teams. I really hate these kids transferring after one or two years.



  4. DelrayCat
    10:47 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    Vanderbilt has fundamentally transformed this team.
    His energy is infectious and gives them such an advantage on the glass.
    If he had played all year, the Cats would be in the SEC title hunt.
    Only downside…he’s looking more and more like a one-and-done player.
    Regardless, this team is gonna make a run…
    50-1 title odds in Vegas>?…..give me that bet!



    • Luether
      1:50 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Agree except the part about one and done…



    • BBNDan7
      6:39 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Luether when are you ever going to leave?



    • 4everUKblue
      6:39 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Luether is still mad about the banner coming down.



    • Bull Filmer
      8:16 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Fans, it’s time to let go. Of all the Jack Cleggs that freely opine on this site – frequently with a Cordinanal spin – Luether provides entertainment. He’s like the court jester.



    • KYJelly
      1:43 pm February 25, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t necessarily think he’s a one and done, one good offensive game doesn’t change how bad that part of his game has been. If he spends the some working on his shot and get a good offensive game to his name, I really believe he’s a top 5-10 pick



  5. Parker_UKFanNC
    10:48 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    Where are the NIT tards now? Glad to see this team finding their groove and functioning like a team finally. Looking forward to see what’s in store over the next few weeks



  6. Atg2112
    10:54 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    “Step back to Missouri with the L” may be the funniest thing I have ever read on here!



    • 8 god
      12:51 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      came here to say this… so unexpected and hilarious



  7. (Aixelsyd)0505
    10:56 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    figured wynard was already off the team…



  8. Trueblue44
    10:57 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    Isn’t Wynyard suspended indefinitely? Maybe I’m wrong but I thought he was



    • wyatts1
      11:08 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Was he on the bench or something and I missed it? I didn’t see him, but honestly idk why he would get suspended from the team anyways unless he wasn’t allowed to have bodyguards when he went out to the club. But that seems silly really



    • BGLawdog
      8:44 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      I was told that he was cited for driving without a license the same week that his buddy was caught with the firearm.



  9. mikeintn
    11:00 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    I like my team! DF



  10. Bobbum Man
    11:01 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    Personally I’m very excitement for March



    • Atg2112
      11:41 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      I’m very happiness with tonight’s win!



    • Bull Filmer
      9:07 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Beau Nurse for ALL.



  11. cats646
    11:05 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    If we keep playing like this, I see another final four and maybe just maybe another championship in the near future.



  12. blueballs80
    12:03 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    We crushed this team at home. Our biggest test will be the SEC tournament. We have to beat the teams that took games from us. I am curious to see if this team will carry this momentum on road/neutral venues



    • KYcats11
      12:45 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Well, considering we beat Arkansas, a good team in a tough environment, I would say yes.



    • Miller45
      12:53 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      would love to get back on Tennessee



    • SuperTroy18
      1:12 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Absolutely. SC and Auburn too.



    • makeitstop
      9:55 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Beating Auburn and UT would help a lot w the committee assuming they find the SEC tourney w their rabbit ears this year. It would say this team is not the one losing in early February and they SAY that is something they look for. It seems all they really look for is a snowplow path in front of Duke but hope springs eternal.



  13. Miller45
    12:52 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    Shareef O’Neal would sure look good in blue in the wake of his Arizona decommit. just saying



    • J-Dub421
      1:23 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      He committed to the wrong Wildcats the first time around.



  14. Miller45
    2:22 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    I’m not buying the LSU stuff yet



  15. ukwildcat1991
    4:04 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    Before the season ksr had told us numerous of times that this Kentucky team was going to go through tons of growing pains, yet everybody expected to have at least a 30 win season. Now Kentucky is coming into form and is looking like a team that could be dangerous in March. I just don’t eat why people jump the ship when this team was in their slump. You should have prepared for this if you ever listen to the radio show or read on this site. In conclusion, I’m glad I stayed optimistic cause it feels amazing that this team is doing great things like I knew they could have.



  16. Booby Petrino
    8:22 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    Ahhhh the ksr message boards are so much better these days. All the Eeyores are gone



    • 4everUKblue
      9:00 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Slater is still here and so is Luether.



    • Booby Petrino
      10:43 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      True. I should’ve said “most” instead of all. If only those two and code would run off together lol



  17. makeitstop
    10:02 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    The bad news of the day was MSU coming back to beat USC. I’ve been on this drumbeat about them but they hv the easiest path to 11-7. That means rooting for UT against them Tuesday which is an unnatural act but if u can stomach it, and want a double bye it would be worthwhile. Florida got past a big hurdle too… they still hv Alabama at home needin a win but looks like that last game may be for the double bye!



    • Racerr11
      11:01 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

      Cal is the best coach in the country.



  18. Racerr11
    11:04 am February 25, 2018 Permalink

    Second to none. Most of the negatives on here are U6 (ville) fans so ignore. I will say we do have some fans that always are negative about the team but claim they luv the cats. We don’t need u .