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Kentucky overcomes slow start to top Southern Illinois 71-59

Well, that was something.

After falling behind by as many as seven in the second half, the Kentucky Wildcats were finally able to climb back and pull off a 71-59 victory over Southern Illinois. But it sure wasn’t pretty.

Freshmen Immanuel Quickley and Keldon Johnson led the way with 15 points each, both adding four rebounds, as well.

Sophomore Quade Green wasn’t too far behind with 14 points on 4-8 shooting.

Freshman big man EJ Montgomery rounded out Kentucky’s double-digit scorers, finishing with 10 points (4-8 shooting) and seven rebounds.

Nick Richards had a near-double-double, finishing with eight points and a team-high 19 rebounds.

The rest of the group, however, put up some pretty horrible numbers.

Reid Travis finished with just six points, while PJ Washington added just three.

Tyler Herro and Ashton Hagans each finished with zero points

Check out the entire box score:

A win is a win.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

29 Comments for Kentucky overcomes slow start to top Southern Illinois 71-59



  1. bigbluebanana
    9:05 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    They’re still our guys. It’s not the start we wanted, but we do this every year. Crown our guys beasts, then everyone and their brother acts like the sky is falling. They’re young, they’re nervous, they have no fluidity yet…but they will. Stay positive people. Go Cats!



    • KYFAN4LYFE
      10:02 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      I’d be OK with the start, if they hadn’t looked so much better in the Bahamas….in AUGUST. How the hell did this team fall off so much since then, with all of the practices , scrimmages, and the 2 exhibitions?
      I know it’s easy to blame Cal, but a lot of this is on some “veteran” guys that suddenly look and play like scared freshmen.



    • bigbluebanana
      10:47 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      Our “veteran” guys weren’t really great at all last year. They went to the Bahamas, had fun, and just played. There was no emphasis on D or offensive sets, they just had fun and then went and played in the pool and hung out with girls. There was zero pressure. PJ is fine, but he’s no leader even in the loosest sense of the word. Travis is okay, but there’s a reason he’s not playing pro ball. Quade is decent, but he can’t lead. Nick is way too inside his own head. Herro got crowned some once in a lifetime type player by our own fans and media…he’s just not that guy. Point being, we need to remember who they are, their ages/maturity levels, and most importantly, we need to remember Cal has our guys playing their best ball by March. Every single year, except for the Noel year, we have as good a shot to cut down bets as anyone. UK is all about potential come March, and this group of guys will have huge potential that is surely going to be reached by then. Can’t stand all these sky us falling fans. Even the KSR folks were as negative as any “fan” tonight in the live feed texts…it’s ridiculous. As a fan you have every right to get frustrated and call your team out, but literally, the KSR writers and others were saying how bad this team sucks now! That’s not how being a fan works. We beat a solid, solid, solid team tonight. Wait until March everyone, we will be right there with anyone else.



  2. JusSayin
    9:09 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    Honestly I’m pleased. We overcame a terrible first half and beat an NCAA tournament team.

    We found a backcourt that works.

    Guys learned their roles.

    And we can stop worrying that Duke beating us by 34 was because they were just that good.



  3. Luether
    9:11 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    Will be interested in reading Aaron’s take on this game…



    • Aar
      10:29 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      My take on the game is that this is a start. This team has a long way to go and this game was the first step.



  4. Robkycats54
    9:14 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    I said it last game, our most effective lineup is the starting lineup we had in the Bahamas, once coach Cal went to the that lineup tonight we started getting our team rolling much better….

    Quickly
    Green
    Johnson
    Pj
    Nick

    We get spacing with shooters & pj & Nick our most athletic bigs we got. I think we got a chance to get back to the way we looked over the summer if Cal sticks with lineup.



    • JusSayin
      9:16 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      I agree.

      Reid Travis doesnt fit our defensive scheme. It’s like a layup line with him out there.

      Herro is a great player but hes streaky so he should come off the bench.

      Hagans should get limited minutes at backup PG.



    • KYFAN4LYFE
      9:42 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah, Hagans and Herro have a LOT of work to do to be good enough to start. But it’s understandable for Hagans….he should still be in H.S.



  5. Wade
    9:22 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    I’m not happy at all!



  6. east-ky-boy
    9:35 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    I get it that people are trying to be positive. I’m a big blue fan (more football than anything) but we have McDonald’s all Americans up and down our roster to get embarrassed last game??? Then we Just get by this game?

    Here’s my problem with it all. Don’t hate the player hate the game so to speak. I just hate the way we (and all the big teams now) recruits and things. Example, we hardly know any of these players. We suck. By the time March rolls around we are gonna be good. We will make a run in the tournament. May even make it to the final four. Then we loose almost everyone to the G league or the league. Then we start all over again next season. I’m old I know. I just miss the days when you had a veteran squad playing with heart and knew what it meant to play for the name on your chest. Rant over. I know most will disagree



    • KYFAN4LYFE
      9:38 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      Until the rules finally change, that’s the way it’s gonna be for ALL of the top programs. It’s not like Cal can go after a bunch of 3 and 4-star guys, so we can keep them 4 years.



    • east-ky-boy
      9:54 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      Oh I agree. It’s just the way it is.



    • bigbluebanana
      10:50 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      Fans NEVER say their team sucks. Ever, you roll with the punches, the good, the bad, and the ugly. But fans don’t cut their own team down.



  7. KYFAN4LYFE
    9:36 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    It’s ironic that the media played R.T. up to be the key ingredient to get UK to the NC…and he may just end up being a big reason why we have an N.I.T. season, if he doesn’t wake up. He’s a defensive liability and an offensive dinosaur….reminds me of some of the guys Tubby used to recruit.



    • bigbluebanana
      10:51 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      You’re dumber than a sack of turds if you think this is an NIT team.



  8. Luether
    9:42 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    In the highly unlikely event we end up in the NIT, it won’t be because of RT…



    • KYFAN4LYFE
      9:46 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      I’m just saying if Cal is gonna stick with him, he’ll continue to be part of the problem, and not part of the solution. P.J. too. If he’s not gonna start Nick, he should put him in at the very first whistle, and leave him in until he fouls out, or passes out . R.T. and P.J. need Nick’s desire and motor….then we’ll be worthy of the NC talk.



  9. KYCat4EVER
    10:24 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    Big difference between measuring out Cats against an ACC Duke team (very well coached) and this Missouri Valley Illinois State Team. It’s a diamond vs a piece of coal… and we still looked more like the coal than a diamond tonight!



  10. BigolBlue
    10:43 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    Just sucks that we already know this team wont win title. Cal and his 1 little lonely title



    • bigbluebanana
      10:55 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

      I nominate bigolblue to coach basketball and combatmedic98 to coach football starting next year. Obviously, they could do much better. My only concern is they would cause a huge dramatic scandal at UK, not just because they’d never lose, but you just know they’d get caught smelling each other’s farts behind the bleachers at night, and how are we going to explain that?



  11. CKTermy23
    10:59 pm November 9, 2018 Permalink

    We will be fine. This a young team that is learning there roles and responsibilities. Their minds aren’t quite where they need to be yet especially the guards. However I’m sure it won’t take to long. I expect this team to be peaking r
    Mid way through SEC play. We will be a nightmare for teams in March. The Duke loss does leave a really really bad taste in our mouths. However we have the luxury of a great Non-Conference schedule plus with the NCAA now given the green light to open a Mass investigation into teams involved with the FBI investigation so UK may be getting a huge break around March time because teams like Louisville,Kansas,Arizona for example may not be allowed to participate in postseason play. Also teams like Duke for example may be with key guys for the rest of the season and including the postseason in Duke’s case that would be Zion Williamson. (Highly unlikely the NCAA does anything with Zion but they will at least look into his recuitment at that’s as far as it will probably go other teams may also be impacted in the manner of losing key guys as well. So if we get Duke in the Final four or in the title game we may get them without Zion. That would be huge. So please don’t give up on this team The NCAA should be ashamed of themselves for having the Champions Classic start the season we simply were not ready to play a team of Duke’s caliber. Duke had been preparing for us Day on and even had a great advantage of having the our game tapes from the Bahamas tour they were over perpared we weren’t defensively perpared at all because even Cal said they hadn’t really worked on defense. The reason was because call didn’t think they needed to as much early on dude how big and deep they are in the front court he thought our rebounding ability would ballance it out a bit and theater proved not to be the case at least against Duke it was the case for us in the second half of tonight’s game, and for a lot of games this season but there will be games were we will need to be our best on defense. Offensively speaking we weren’t bad against Duke even though we lost by 34 we still put 80+ on them. With better Defense we can prevent deficits like that in the future. Great second half from this team. Enjoy the win. Go Cats!



    • CKTermy23
      1:08 am November 10, 2018 Permalink

      Sorry for the bad grammar I typed really fast on my phone the buttons are small and I have big fingers, plus this auto-correct feature is a nightmare.



  12. CKTermy23
    1:40 am November 10, 2018 Permalink

    What I meant to say:We will be fine,this is a young team that is learning their roles and responsibilities. Thier minds aren’t quite where they need to be yet especially the guards. However I’m sure it won’t take to long. I expect this team to peaking mid way through SEC play. We will be a nightmare for teams in March.

    The Duke loss does leave a really, really bad taste in our mouths. However we have the luxury of a good Non-Conference schedule,plus the NCAA has been given the green light to begin a massive investigation into the teams involved in the FBI investigation. So UK may be getting a huge break here soon. The result for the NCAA’s investigation could leave teams like UofL,Kansas, Arizona among other team facing postseason bans and it cause other teams to be without key player most notiedly Duke in the form of Zion Williamson. That would be huge for if we play Duke again( highly unlikely the NCAA anything substantial with Zion but they will at least look into his recuitment but that’s as far as it will probably go). However other players eligiblity maybe impacted as well. The NCAA should be ashamed of themselves for scheduling The Champions Classic at the start of the season. We were simply not ready to play a team of Duke’s caliber. Duke had been preparing for us Day one.tgey even had our game footage from our games in Bahamas which gave Duke a huge advantage with they had to dissect it. Coach K had his team over perpared. We weren’t perpared defensively at all. Even Coach Cal said they hadn’t really worked on defense much. Coach Cal’s reasoning behind that was that he thought his frontcourts size , length ,and rebounding ability would kind of make up for the lack of Defense and that way he could gradually teach them on defense with out overwhelming them. This pretty much proved not to be the case at least against Duke. However it was the case for us in the last nights game. It will also be the case for a lot of our games this season but there will be games this season where our wildcats will have to be at thier best on defense to have a chance to win. Offensively speaking we weren’t all that bad against Duke even though we lost by only 34 we still put 80+ on them which is actually impressive in it’s self considering how Duke was playing. With better day we can prevent deficits like that in the future. Great second half form this team.Don’t give up on this team,& enjoy the win. Go Cats!



    • davis2319
      1:58 am November 10, 2018 Permalink

      Lol and did we not have time to prepare for them?? Did we not have footage of them playing in Canada even though Cam Reddish was out? And we put up 84 points because we had so many opportunities/possessions because Duke scored just about every time they touched the ball it seemed like. I am all about being positive but you can’t let being positive blind you from reality. This team has a chance to be a really good team when it’s all said and done but there is a chance we could be a bad team as well. Take off those blue colored sunglasses and join the real world where people who actually analyze the games, and where the people get excited about something to actually get excited about.



  13. CKTermy23
    4:21 am November 10, 2018 Permalink

    Fair point.