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Kentucky sneaks past Montana State, 86-28

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

That, my friends, was a lopsided basketball game. Montana State, a team that recently lost to Grand Canyon by 16, made the long trip to Lexington for a shot at the nation’s best and it did not go well for the Bobcats. Not at all. UK held them to 19 percent shooting on 61 attempts in the entire game. Blocks, there were plenty of them and some were violent. The official count credits UK with 12, though it seemed like 80. It was a 40-minute defensive performance from the boys in blue and white.

Let’s discuss a little bit of it, shall we?


UK held Montana State to 28 points. Twenty. Eight. Points.

It was the lowest point total from an opposing team since the invention of the shot clock. Take a second to process that one. No UK opponent was as bad at scoring the basketball in one game. And somehow, please tell me if you know, this same Montana State team scored 78 points against UCLA last weekend. That tells me fans should be pretty confident about the game in Chicago next month.

Montana State went over 13 minutes without scoring.

There were no bigger Montana State fans in the world than the 22,000 people wearing blue in Rupp Arena. Rarely do you see Big Blue Nation passionately cheer for the visiting team, but that was the case during the second half when the poor Bobcats couldn’t add to the scoreboard. We knew right away the game was headed that direction when Montana State couldn’t get the ball up the floor. It was laughable for a second, then it became sad because it was so unfair.

It was a rough start for Kentucky, believe it or not.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at the final score but the Cats got off to a very poor start. They went 0-for-10 from the field to begin the game and actually trailed by one point at 2-1. Coach Cal said, “We score one point in the first four minutes. Come on, are you kidding me? Now we were good enough to hold them to two, but that’s ridiculous. And again, we have got to work on that. We can’t start games like that.”

Montana State made one more field goal than Kansas, so there’s that.

Just another reminded of how truly special that win in Indianapolis was.

Book ’em Devin.

After scoring 15 points against Boston Friday night, Devin Booker’s hot hand continued with 18 points to lead all scorers on Sunday. Booker held a late game lead over Montana State, the entire team, at 18-17 with a little over seven minutes left, but he fell in the end, 28-18.

The freshman has been putting in a lot of work on his shot before and after practices. He made some changes to his footwork and it’s been very clear the hard work is paying off.

The 2012 block record is in serious jeopardy.

Kentucky holds the NCAA record for blocks in a single season with 344 in 2012, the Anthony Davis season. That team averaged 8.6 blocks per game on the year. Assuming this team plays 40 games, and that’s a very realistic assumption, it will break that record if it keeps up its current pace of 9.8 blocks. They’re on track for 392 right now.

Alex Poythress recorded another DNP.

Calipari expects Alex to practice on Monday and return to action Tuesday night against UT Arlington. He’s been missed but it’s been a blast watching Dominique Hawkins get more PT.

If Sam Malone isn’t your favorite player on the team, well, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

I’ve watched this well over a hundred times and I’m not slowing down.

You gotta get that board, B-Long.

Dan Issel joined us on the KSR pregame show and he was great.

Ryan and I called up Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer from the radio bullpen to help us close out the pregame show. Issel had a lot of good things to say, especially when I asked him if he could play in a platoon system. “No, I have to play more than a half,” he said. You can listen to the entire interview below:

And with that, I’m off to enjoy my Sunday night.

Go Cats, everybody.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

14 Comments for Kentucky sneaks past Montana State, 86-28

  1. Rixter
    10:46 pm November 23, 2014 Permalink

    Andrew is now shooting 45% behind the line this year.. but he’s way behind the team leader: Tyler Ulis is connecting on an amazing 62%!! He’s hit 8 of 13.

    I see ya, number 3……

    • BanjoBeliever
      3:55 am November 24, 2014 Permalink

      Yes, Ulis and Booker is lookin good! Willie is looking great this year…

  2. catdaddyd
    10:47 pm November 23, 2014 Permalink

    Montana State reminded me of that team Teen Wolf played on, I was hoping a fat guy eating pizza was going to inbound the ball. They lived up to that 308 ranking.

  3. catdaddyd
    10:51 pm November 23, 2014 Permalink

    Not a big Dave Baker fan, but Tony Delk was horrendous. In the first six minutes of the game he said “againt” and “feets.”

    • BigBlueBoom
      8:56 am November 24, 2014 Permalink

      Sadly, I agree with you. It took me a while to remember it was Tony. He’d say something dumb and I’d think “who the hell is this guy” and then I’d remember it was Delk. Dang.

  4. jwild
    11:46 pm November 23, 2014 Permalink

    “but he fell in the end, 28-18” – Gold

  5. Rixter
    11:50 pm November 23, 2014 Permalink

    Montana is # 308…meaning there are 43 teams ranked lower. That has to include a few middle school teams.

  6. Hicksy
    2:15 am November 24, 2014 Permalink

    I spoke to a man on the phone this weekend who claimed to be Drew Franklin. He wished me a happy birthday and referred to me as a slang term for a cat. If this was in fact the real Drew Franklin…thank you for the birthday wishes.

    • RealCatsFan
      7:29 am November 24, 2014 Permalink

      He called you a kitty?

  7. reedieboy
    5:24 am November 24, 2014 Permalink

    I actually thought with what little of the game i got to watch the Delk was pretty good. You got to cut him a little slack with it being the first time we has been national television

  8. cracka
    8:40 am November 24, 2014 Permalink

    some random stats:

    towns has more blocks (18) than willie (9) and dakari (8) combined even though he’s played less min than both … the freshman are a combined 28/34 (82%) on fts, the rest of the team is 59% … our pgs (drew and tyler) have 13 3s on the year just like our sgs (aaron and devin), but only took 24 shots to get there compared to 43

    • blakea
      9:28 am November 24, 2014 Permalink

      Some good stuff. I think the upgrade in shot blocking for Towns vs. Randle might be contributing to this team’s insane defense.

  9. Tltaworl
    10:51 am November 24, 2014 Permalink

    Sorry Drew, but what part of that click makes Malone your favorite player? The inability to pass or the inability to shoot?

  10. Biglaw Dawgin'
    3:16 pm November 24, 2014 Permalink

    He had another bad miss / weird under-the-basket sequence too. I think Sam Malone might have trouble getting playing time for Montana State.