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One Down, Eight To Go

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Kentucky handled its business against Alabama tonight in the Friday night quarterfinal game.  Bless their little hearts, but the Tide never stood a chance in this one. Let’s be honest.

The Cats are now two wins away from the school’s 29th SEC tournament championship, and it’ll take a valiant effort from a desperate team to keep that from happening.

Let’s hit some notes from the quarterfinal and then get some Z’s before the semi…

 

Alex Pothress hit four three-pointers.

What? Sir?

That’s right; Poythress knocked down FOUR three-pointers in tonight’s win. He had never taken four three-pointers in his career before tonight. There is something about Alabama that gets him going, obviously.

After the game, Poythress said, “Everybody on the team was just in a rhythm. We were playing great defense, and it led to offense. Everybody was confident out there, making shots, and just getting in a rhythm and doing what you can do offensively.”

Yeah, but how did you get so hot?

Jamal Murray might actually break Steph Curry’s record. 

It seemed farfetched a week ago, but Murray is dangerously close to taking the record for most three-pointers by a freshman. Murray now has 104 on the year, 18 shy of the NCAA record of 122 made. It doesn’t seem likes he’s been that hot, but we could be watching history, folks.

murray-hood

The boy’s hot.

Kentucky isn’t losing when it shoots 59 percent from three.

This team is so dependent on the outside ball, more so than any team in the Calipari era, and tonight we saw what can happen when the shot falls. 13-for-22 from outside is a dangerous number against any team, and unfortunately for Alabama, it was on the receiving end of the flurry.

Jamal Murray isn’t the player he was three months ago.

Murray has learned to defend (somewhat), he’s patient in the offense and he hustles. Those are three things we couldn’t say about him in December. It’s easy to follow his hot shooting and be happy, but Kentucky fans should be happier with how he’s learned to play “winning basketball” and gotten efficient within the offense.

Kentucky had only seven turnovers.

This is one of Cal’s best teams at limiting turnovers — credit to Tyler Ulis — and tonight was another example of protecting the ball. However, Calipari wishes his team would have more turnovers, if that makes sense. He says they’re not being aggressive enough on nights like tonight, with only seven turnovers. He’d like to see more so he knows his team is taking chances.

The frontcourt is coming together.

It wasn’t an outstanding night for the Kentucky bigs, but the frontcourt is coming together at the right time. The team that lost at LSU is an afterthought, as all of the bigs begin to find their place and their role with this team. How each game plays out depends on match-ups, but everyone inside is showing signs of stepping up when called upon. If Kentucky can just get a little bit from that group, the guards will handle the rest of the load.

This.

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

5 Comments for One Down, Eight To Go



  1. jonthes
    1:04 am March 12, 2016 Permalink

    Are you kidding? Alex is a big and he had a monster game. Defensively they were great.



  2. KevinM
    6:46 am March 12, 2016 Permalink

    I like the idea of the games to #9 countdown…..we’ve got a legit shot at it.



  3. @BallBlog_Chad
    9:53 am March 12, 2016 Permalink

    Still waiting for Murray to pass the ball on a fast break … he’s come a long way, gotta give him credit … but getting rejected at the rim instead of lobbing to Poythress makes me smh. He did give it to Willis a little later in the game for a dunk. Reminds me of Randle spinning into traffic every game all year and then finally at the end of the year kicking it out to Aaron for a 3 … took him all year to find the faith to give it up to a teammate. We’re starting to look really good, though, keep playing D and share the ball guys, can’t wait for today’s game!



  4. cslang2
    12:00 pm March 12, 2016 Permalink

    I want to know why Willis only played 13 minutes. He will be essential to a deep run and after the injury he needs to get in the flow. He earned his starting spot and changed the trajectory of this team (under tyler’s guidance of course). I would hate to see him relegated to the bench because he got hurt…I just wonder if the ankle may not be 100% yet



    • UK Big Board Update
      12:34 pm March 12, 2016 Permalink

      I’d say the ankle isn’t 100% yet.

      As one caller diagnosed on Matt’s show, the muscle was completely pulled from the bone.