We’re back again with another groggy Monday of basketball leftovers from a busy Sunday night. This time, Kentucky manhandled nearby Asbury University to the tune of a 156-63 final score. Had it been a regular season game, the Cats would’ve broken the record for most points, surpassing Jerry Bird and the guys’ 143 points against Georgia in 1956.
Let’s chat a little bit more about last night before we get to the football…
1. The 88 first half points only makes me wonder how the ’96 team did it at LSU.
As you saw, Kentucky scored at will against Asbury and set a new record for points in a half with 88. But what’s crazy about that is, the record it broke was set on the road at LSU, when Kentucky scored 86 before halftime on an SEC opponent.
Let’s revisit that absurd and unfathomable game against a far superior opponent:
2. Don’t feel too bad for Asbury. Those guys had fun.
At halftime I spoke to someone from Asbury athletics who told me, “We’re having fun and that is all that matters.” Then after the game, Asbury head coach Will Shouse opened his press conference by saying, “Well, I’m glad it wasn’t 100 points. It was fun, the experience we had, being a Kentucky fan.”
So know that the Asbury kids will live to see another day. Sure, they were down by 102 points in a basketball game, but that’s a memory those guys will cherish for a lifetime, especially that poor soul who left his feet while in the path of a charging Mychal Mulder.
On second thought, maybe feel sorry for him. I’m honestly not sure if he is alive or not.
3. You can thank Asbury’s unique style of play for all of those Kentucky dunks.
Going into that game we knew it had the potential to get really out of hand, simply because Asbury’s system invites it. Coach Shouse encourages his team to take 50 three-pointers per game and to press, press, press and trap, trap, trap, which leads to many fast-break situations, no matter the opponent. When you mix in the lightning-fast Kentucky squad, you get 29 dunks and 116 points in the paint.
Coach Shouse said, “The system we play, that was a product of the system. I refuse to (play out of our system). It’s my fault. Could I play for us to lose by 50 or 60? Yeah, I probably could have manipulated that, maybe. I don’t know, they may have had their way with us anyway. I kept pressing, trapping and staying aggressive. I think that has to be the mindset to win the conference in our league.”
4. De’Aaron Fox: “Honestly, most of our practices are harder than the game.”
Last night’s game was the easiest competition the Wildcats will face all year, no doubt. Things will be much tougher in Tuesday and Wednesday’s practices, which Cal came out and said they are “really going to get after it.” De’Aaron Fox noted his team’s practices are harder than a lot of the actual games they will play in.
“Honestly, most of our practices are harder than the game. I mean not just this game, but a lot of games this year our practices will be harder because of the competition and the intensity.”
5. Tai Wynyard asked for a black mask so he could “be like Batman.”
Tai Wynyard doesn’t get a ton of media opportunities, but when he does, he comes through with great quotes — like the time he said Draymond Green “kicked his boy in the nuts” or, last night’s gem: how he wants to be like the Caped Crusader on the court.
When asked about having to wear that clear protective mask, Wynyard told reporters, “I wanted to get a black one so I could be like, ‘I’m Batman!’ running out there with wings and stuff, but they didn’t let me.”
“They think I can’t see through it, but I can’t even see through it with a see-through one, so I don’t know why they did that. But it’s pretty cool. I wish I could have a black one.”
6. Coach Cal plans to use an eight- or nine-man rotation.
“I would say eight or nine and that all depends on how many minutes guys can play,” Cal said in his postgame press conference, in response to a question asking how he foresees the rotation. “We’re playing to win.”
So, let’s assume Fox, Monk, Briscoe, Adebayo, Willis, Gabriel, Killeya-Jones, Humphries and Hawkins?
7. “Welcome to the jam.”
— KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) November 7, 2016
… brought to you by Kentucky Wildcats TV.
8. On a personal note, sitting next to Rex Chapman last night was pretty awesome.
I drew the lucky seat next to Rex Chapman during last night’s game and I learned more about this team in the first 10 minutes of that game than I have in months. Guys like Rex just know the game more than you and I ever could, and to hear him analyze every little aspect was really cool. He sees EVERYTHING and most of it was stuff I didn’t even know to look for. He also coaches them under his breath — Pass that! Dunk that! Give it up! Yes! — as the action happens. He might’ve gotten on the ref a time or two, too. Love me some Rex.
9. Worth noting: Lonnie Walker was at the game.
Kentucky had Lonnie Walker, a five-star shooting guard in the class, sitting directly behind the bench for the game, although he disappeared in the second half. Walker leaves town today and the staff really needs to do something to impress him because he seemed very uninterested in last night’s rout of Asbury.
Walker will likely commit and sign to the school of his choosing later this month.
10. Up next for the day: Mark Stoops looks back at Georgia and ahead to Tennessee in Monday press conference.
Stick around for all of the Monday morning/afternoon football news.