CBS Sports released their college basketball Saturday winners and losers post earlier this weekend. Among the winners of the day is Kentucky’s improved defense, and among the losers are the Duke Blue Devils. Is there anything better in the world than an article that lists the Wildcats as winners and the Blue Devils as losers?
Coming off three loses in the past five games, the young Wildcats were reeling on both sides of the ball, but most notably on defense. We heard all sorts of things about the practices following the LSU game, including a new rule of “If you don’t play defense or rebound, then you’re sitting on the bench” from Coach Cal. This was mostly geared towards Malik Monk, but he’s not the only problem on defense at all.
Take a look at what Kyle Boone of CBS Sports had to say about Kentucky’s defensive effort against Alabama.
Winner: Kentucky’s defensive improvement
Ahead of Saturday’s game against Alabama, the Wildcats had lost three of five, allowing an average of 82.6 points during that stretch. The blatant defensive slide forced head coach John Calipari to call a 3-hour practice that consisted of 90 percent defense on Wednesday — and it appears improvements have been made.
Kentucky held the Crimson Tide to 20 points in the first 20 minutes and limited them to 21.4 percent shooting from the 3-point line. That’s .795 points per possession — a vast improvement from where this team has been recently.
While Kentucky’s play against Alabama might’ve not been perfect, you can’t deny that the improvement was definitely there. I would say the resilience to hold off Alabama’s run down the stretch is something most noticeable to me.
If you want to read the whole article on winners and losers of Saturday’s games, you can view it here.