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Pick-Up Game Offense Blew Out Kentucky’s Interior Attack

To say Alabama and Kentucky’s styles contrast would be an understatement. Nate Oats employs an uptempo offense that shoots 30 three-pointers a game. John Calipari’s offense goes through the post. The former made the latter look wholly insufficient Tuesday night as Alabama cruised to a 20-point win at Rupp Arena.

Kentucky knew exactly what they were up against going into this game. Every player has been in a game that felt familiar.

“It’s almost like they were playing an AAU basketball game, like a circuit basketball game,” said UK points guard Devin Askew, “but they made a lot of their shots and it worked for them, so hat’s off to them.”

AAU basketball has a negative connotation to it, so Dontaie Allen put it another way that actually sounds appealing.

“Honestly, it’s really like playing a pick-up game. The way that they play, just get up shots quick, drive to the basket freely. We knew going into this game that it was like a hooper’s game,” said the Pendleton County native.

The hoopers hooped, burying ten first half three-pointers to finish the night 14-of-30 (46%) from long range. Meanwhile, Kentucky made just 4-of-18 (22.2%) from downtown while UK’s four posts combined to score 35 points on 10-for-27 (37%) from the floor. Not only did Alabama’s threes out-score Kentucky’s posts by seven points, they made their shots from long range at a higher clip.

When asked if Calipari’s roster can compete with a team built to shoot a ton of three-pointers, Kentucky’s head coach said shooting more threes is probably not the answer.

“We took 18 threes. How many did we make? So if we took 25 and made six, how would that be? We had a chance to go inside and post the ball and play and now put the game to where it was nine or ten (three-point attempts). We either couldn’t deliver the ball, or when we did we scored in there and did some good stuff,” he said.

“Again, we had a lot of 1-for-4s, 1-for-5s, Dontaie was 2-for-5. Four-for-18 from three means maybe you’re not a great three-point shooting team, but that’s okay. The other side of it is in the first half they made ten. They were either uncontested or we were late getting to somebody. Well they’re going to make them then. That’s how they’re going to play. Our game-plan was we are not blocking the shot but we’re going to contest, so if we get there late, not late getting to them but late jumping — we weren’t even near them.”

Kentucky is not built to play Alabama’s style of basketball. Will a John Calipari team ever will be built to win by making a ton of three-pointers? That is a question that must be answered another day. As for the near future, Kentucky is determined to turn around this season by doing whatever it takes to scratch and claw for a few more wins.

“We’re going to keep getting into the gym and keep working to get better,” said Askew. “This is not where our story ends. We’ve got a long journey. This is still part of the beginning. We’re going to keep moving and keep moving forward after this one.”

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

13 Comments for Pick-Up Game Offense Blew Out Kentucky’s Interior Attack

  1. just a guy
    12:45 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

    You’re saying y’all want an uptempo, 30 3s a game offense with a defense that pressures the other team?
    Looks like we kept the wrong Italian

  2. JPGott2
    1:44 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

    Issue with the title is that we really do not go through our bigs.

    Sarr can rarely get posted up and Jackson is still very raw In half-court postup sets.

    That is actually our biggest issue with our offense is the lack of identity. A lot of the players just do not know where to go with the ball.
    That in turn ends with people like Boston shooting odd 19 footers and our ability to finish layups under 50%.

    Go Cats!

  3. Axel72
    3:44 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

    Now that I have got through KSR security, what inside presence are we discussing. We have no inside presence or outside presence. It’s pretty much take a guy 1 on 1 that you can’t beat off the dribble and take a bad 18 foot jump shoot. No screens, and terrible help defense. I don’t see this getting better, they all best come back next year because there is not one that can even sit on a bench in the NBA. They all should also cut their hair because it ain’t good for aerodynamics as BJ has proved, kid gets blocked more than a 9th grader trying to get laid.

    • Bluehender
      7:07 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

      Lol. All true. Except they won’t come back next year..

  4. Trinity45
    8:09 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

    I take exception to the comment that we go thru our bigs, generally our bigs get ignored and Cal has always gone thru his P.G. first unfortunately John Wall or Fox cannot suit up anymore. Face it the game has passed Cal by and it is not either adapt or lose.

  5. runningunnin.454
    8:29 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

    Nonsense; it’s our offense that looks like a pick-up game at the city park.

    • just a guy
      9:19 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

      I like y’all call what Calipari runs, an offense. He runs the weave at top of the key, while the defense stands and waits for PG to get the ball 30ft away. Then 2 passes, a contested drive to the rim, pull up from 18ft and yank an off balanced shot.

      This isn’t offense. It’s literally street ball. There’s no screens, there’s no pick and roll, there’s no motion. It’s street ball, always has been. It just looks better with John wall/Bledsoe, or fox/monk than it does with mintz and Boston.

    • just a guy
      9:19 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

      Runnin… wasn’t intended as a response to you. I agree with your statement

    • GymRat
      9:42 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

      Sadly I’ve been in a whole lot of pickup games w/ smoother offense than we run.

    • runningunnin.454
      9:40 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

      We’re good, and you’re right; no motion, I could guard a tree.

  6. GymRat
    9:40 am January 13, 2021 Permalink

    Even if we did “go through the post” which we rarely do, that’s not the problem. The problem is zero motion on the floor of it’s not started by a 1 on 1 breakdown. As many have pointed out, our offense was painful to watch even in 2012 and 15 lots of times.