Unlike any other season-opener, there weren’t any exhibitions to prepare the BBN for what they were going to see from Kentucky against Morehead State. We all knew B.J. Boston was going to be great, but there were a few other unexpected and exciting developments from Kentucky’s 81-45 victory.
1. Devin Askew can play
We saw his workout videos with Terrence Clarke and B.J. Boston. We heard Darren Collision rave about the young point guard. Even so, we hear plenty of preseason hype about every John Calipari point guard. No matter how good they are, it always takes time for them to adjust to the next level. Devin Askew was supposed to be a high school senior this year. I expected him to struggle longer than most well into conference play. That was not the case.
Quick up and down the court, Kentucky’s well-spaced half-court offense gave the freshman lanes to create shots. When others gave him an opportunity to score he was efficient, knocking down 5-of-9 shots, including 2-of-3 from behind the three-point line. Of course, there were turnovers, four to be exact, but Askew exceeded early expectations. When he wasn’t in the game, there was no drop off with Davion Mintz whatsoever. Cal’s got solid options at point guard.
2. Isaiah Jackson can shoot too
We all knew the big man could throw down serious dunks and block shots like this:
.@IJackson22 is going to be a problem
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 25, 2020
We didn’t know he a midrange jump shot. The first made field goal of the 2020-21 season was a 15-footer from the wing by Jackson. That wasn’t the only jumper he knocked down Wednesday night. If he stays out of foul trouble, whew, this front-court will be great.
3. Cam’Ron Fletcher will contribute right away
The 6-foot-6 forward from St. Louis was the No. 65 player in the 2020 recruiting class. Calipari players ranked in that range typically go one of two ways — they either flounder in an undefined role and bolt after a year or develop into an unexpected star. It’s only one game, but Fletcher looks like he fits the latter category.
Without Keion Brooks, Fletcher’s name was called early when Jackson got into foul trouble. Fletcher took what Morehead State gave him and knocked down an open corner three. When they still didn’t contest his midrange game right away, without hesitation he knocked down a couple of in-rhthym jumpers. He only missed one shot and finished with nine points. Even though it’s easy to be impressed by his early confidence offensively, defense is what will earn him significant minutes. He was physical inside, used his length to disrupt on the perimeter and he dove on the floor for loose balls. In just 17 minutes he had 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Fletcher’s effort and energy will make him a fan favorite.