Of all the Duke-Kentucky reactions and analysis on the Twitter machine — and there is a lot — Doug Gottlieb’s tweet about the Cats stands out as one we don’t want to be true but might be true.
The college basketball analyst tweeted, “Story will rightfully be about Duke, but some part should go to Kentucky’s lack of PG despite 3 who people think are PGs. Also Hero is a shot nut who doesn’t defend. Travis is a traditional low post big who doesn’t move/defend well nor does he fit w/UK style.”
It’s a harsh breakdown of the second-ranked team in America, but is he wrong?
Based only on last night’s game, I think he’s right. Kentucky didn’t have a point guard against Duke. Ashton Hagans got the start and he couldn’t do it. Immanuel Quickley couldn’t do it and I thought Quade Green was hard to watch. Collectively, they combined for 1-for-10 shooting from the field in an offense that never got in sync whatsoever.
As for Tyler Herro, “shot nut” is a label I tend to avoid but we did see some very poor shot selection from the otherwise sharp shooter. He took a couple that were mind-blowingly bad. His defense, also bad.
And for Gottlieb’s scouting report on Reid Travis, it’s pretty spot on but Travis played a hell of a game and there won’t be many teams with the athleticism of Duke to get around him. Travis is a traditional big and he doesn’t move well, as Gottlieb said, but he’ll beat a lot of opponents up with the way he plays. Travis is what he is and he’s good, despite some limitations athletically.
So as much as it’s hard to swallow, Gottlieb is right in Kentucky’s lack of a point guard, Herro’s lack of defense and shot selection, and how Travis plays.
But it was only one game, the first game of the year at that, so let’s not write this scouting report in ink. Hagans, Green, Quickley and Herro will play much better than they did last night. It was an uncharacteristically bad evening for all four.