The Kentucky Wildcats got off to a fast start in the delayed 2020-21 basketball season by running away from Morehead State with an 81-45 win in the opening game of the Bluegrass Showcase.
Like most season-openers, it was not exactly crisp in the first few minutes. Nevertheless, Kentucky was able to clean it up and take a 15-4 lead after eight minutes. That comfortable lead was extended for good once UK went on a 16-4 run at the beginning of the second half.
Unlike a typical preseason that features multiple exhibitions, the BBN did not get a chance to see the team operate in a live game setting before Wednesday night. They were greeted with a few pleasant surprises.
Isaiah Jackson had a pair powerful blocked shots at the rim. Davion Mintz was money from long range, knowing down a couple of threes. Terrence Clarke showed off his ball-handling, getting to the rim to finish with a dozen points. Cam’Ron Fletcher was a pleasant surprise, hustling on defense and shooting confidently from the midrange and behind the three-point line. As expected, B.J. Boston looked like a future star, recording 15 points and seven rebounds. Four players finished in double figures and ten players received significant minutes.
Kentucky’s length on defense was a problem for Morehead State, forcing 19 Eagle turnovers. John Calipari has so many exceptional ball-handlers, the Cats were quick to move in transition, scoring 16 fast-break points. When Morehead State tried to slow them down with a zone defense, Kentucky never flinched.
There’s a lot to like about this Kentucky basketball team and they’re just scratching the surface without Keion Brooks.