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Poythress roars all over Bama in Kentucky win


Kentucky followed up its discouraging loss in Baton Rouge with a much-needed road win at Alabama on Saturday. After putting up its worst performance of the season four days earlier, the Cats turned the week’s negativity into motivation in Tuscaloosa, defeating the Crimson Tide, 77-61.

Alex Poythress, one of the biggest disappointments at LSU, rebounded to be the star of Kentucky’s victory. The senior forward scored a career-high 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, plus seven rebounds. He also went 9-for-11 from the line.

Jamal Murray wasn’t too far behind with 21 points of his own. Murray and Poythress combined to score Kentucky’s first 27 points in the game.

The win moves UK to 12-3 and 2-1 in the SEC. In a season when every conference road game will be a fight, it was big to pick one up at Alabama.



Alabama had no match for Poythress.

We knew this could be a big game for Poythress; what we didn’t know is whether or not he would take advantage of the opportunity.

Short answer: he did.

Poythress had a career night in T-Town, showing the athletic dominance we wish he’d show more often. He did whatever he wanted offensively and turned in a Ben Simmons-like performance with several trips to the foul line, leading to nine of his 25 points coming off freebies.

John Calipari said Poythress was “unbelievable.” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said the Tide couldn’t control him.

Isaiah Briscoe found his shot.

I honestly thought I had a better chance of winning Saturday night’s Powerball than I did seeing Isaiah Briscoe make multiple jump shots. Unfortunately for my bank account, the latter cashed in, but good for Briscoe. He finally did something offensively, showing the makings of a jumper on his way to 12 points in the game. It was his best offensive performance since going for 20 in the loss at UCLA in early December.

Let’s ignore the fact he went 0-for-2 at the foul line, at least for now.

Tyler Ulis’ streak of 20-point games ended.

Ulis entered the game with three consecutive 20-point outings and hopes of becoming the first to have four since Jodie Meeks, but he fell short in the scoring department. That is because he was too busy creating for his teammates. Ulis finished with eight assists in the game.

This was one of his best:

We’re now calling that the Pick-and-Roar.

Skal Labissiere contributed nothing.

It may be time we completely eliminate all expectations for Labissiere. It’s not fair to him for everyone to expect things he simply isn’t capable of doing at this stage in his career, and it’s frustrating to fans. At this point, we should enter each game thinking whatever Labissiere does is a bonus. If he has five points next week against Mississippi State, that’s going to be five more points than I expected of him. Until he proves otherwise, this false hope of him being any kind of a post presence this season must stop.

Skal had more technical fouls than points in this one. One rebound in four minutes.

Marcus Lee flirted with a double-double.

Much like Poythress, Lee knew he had to play well to make up for a rough night in Baton Rouge. And much like Poythress, he did.

Lee hauled in 11 rebounds and scored eight points, falling just shy of what would’ve been his third double-double of the season. If he could’ve hit just two of his five free-throw attempts, that double-double would’ve been his. Instead, he missed all five.

He and Poythress combined for 33 points and 18 rebounds in their make-up game.

What is going on here?


Sir! SIR! You cannot do that. Put him down.

Only one turnover for Jamal Murray!!!

Murray is getting better each game at calming down and not forcing the action. He is still learning to play off the ball and when to give it up, and his high turnover rate has dropped in recent weeks. He’s only turned it over five times since his seven-turnover game against Louisville.

Murray also scored a lot of points, but that’s not anything new. He scored the ball often, as he always does. Twenty-one this time.

Kentucky won the rebounding battle and it wasn’t even close. 

Rebounding isn’t one of Alabama’s strengths and that was apparent against the determined big men of Kentucky. The Cats out-rebounded Bama 43-25 in the game for its largest rebounding margin since the Eastern Kentucky game. Controlling the glass was a major factor in getting the W.

We finally have visual proof that Coach Cal is indeed a robot.

He did a system reboot on live TV. cal-robot

I knew it!


Up next for Kentucky is Mississippi State in Lexington on Tuesday.

Up next for Alabama is Clemson in the college football national championship. Roll tide?

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

20 Comments for Poythress roars all over Bama in Kentucky win

  1. BMT
    9:44 pm January 9, 2016 Permalink

    I hope Skal does a lot of learning this year because if he doesn’t, it’s going to be even harder for him to earn PT next year with the other bigs who will be coming back and the class that’s coming in.

    • BMT
      9:45 pm January 9, 2016 Permalink

      And that’s not even considering the possibility of a commit from Marques Bolton.

    • scottg74
      10:39 pm January 9, 2016 Permalink

      If we do somehow get Bolden, how many players have to leave to fill the scholarships? Im not up on the rules like I use to be. I know 13, but am I missing something don’t we have 13 on scholarship right now?

  2. DelrayCat
    9:53 pm January 9, 2016 Permalink

    I’d love to see Skal stay 4 years. He could be a very good player one day with several years of strength training and confidence building. However, it also would not surprise me to see him transfer if Cal continues to play others over him. He has no shot at the NBA until after 2017 season (at earliest).

  3. Shawn Kemp
    10:16 pm January 9, 2016 Permalink

    Murray is coming for Knight’s freshman ppg record…


  4. Suffering Fools
    10:50 pm January 9, 2016 Permalink

    That robot move is the best since his hand-flipping dance last season.

  5. Stopover
    12:39 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

    Say what you want about Alex, but don’t say you can’t root for this guy. I don’t care who you are. Good for him.

    However we won’t go any where without a real presence at the 5. It’s a shame.

    • Angelo
      12:55 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

      We have been rooting for four years???

    • EdC
      6:19 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

      It’s OK to root for 4 years. That is the normal path for the vast majority of college athletes. Perhaps LSU was his light switch and he understands what he needs to do to succeed.

  6. JDawg
    1:50 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

    Murray is the best scoring guard we’ve had since Knight. The dude is fearless. What I like most about him is that he can miss 7 shots in a row and it doesn’t phase him. Me and my boys call him “Mr. Murray”.

    • Adolph Rupp III
      11:58 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

      Brandon Knight:
      Free Throws: 79.5%
      Three Pointers: 37.7%
      Assist Rate: 23.4%

      Jamal Murray:
      Free Throws: 77.6%
      Three Pointers: 37.8%
      Assist Rate: 14.5%

      Fairly comparable shooters, but Brandon had a much higher basketball IQ, and also had the burden of having to play the point at the same time. If you want to see how much difference that can make to the ordinary point guard, just look at how Tyler’s numbers have dipped now that he has to be the full time PG, instead of sometime point and sometime shooting guard.
      I worry about Jamal’s abilities from the POINT at the NBA level. Much of that free spirited craziness he tries will simply not fly. Hope Cal can get the circus plays out of him before draft time. But we’re very lucky to have him this year.

    6:32 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

    Skal will fool most you who think he is no good. He is young and got punked by Alabama but he did show some spunk which had not been there. Leave the KID alone CAL’s got this!!!!!

    • Bobbum Man
      7:48 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

      He played 4 minutes… 4. If that doesn’t show you that even cal is losing faith I don’t know what will. The kid just isn’t good right now. Could he be one day? Sure, but he’s been shut down by pretty much everyone we’ve played aside from a few tiny schools

    • The Rest of the story
      10:20 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

      There is no way Skal deserves time on the court than Humphries. Let the BIG guy in and take up room down low and learn since there is more upside there than skinny Skal.

  8. shelby
    10:02 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

    Is it just me or is the term “score the ball” really stupid? As opposed to what: scoring the shoe? Or scoring the headband?
    Skal will be fine, maybe he’s not a superstar this year, a lot of talent thee folks. I personally think he’s starting to show a LOT more toughness lately, he’s starting to fight for the ball. Once he finds his spot in the lane and realizes he can get his jump hook and turnaround jumper off over anybody, he’s gonna make a leap in production.

    • The Rest of the story
      10:16 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

      Wow you must not have watched a single game UK has played. Dude Skal is years away from playing at this level he has one of the lowest basketball IQs I ever seen and is not very athletic either. I really hope to be wrong but he has progressed none at all.

    • DelrayCat
      11:10 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

      I disagree with the idea that Skal has low BB IQ. How do you assess that??
      No, the real problem is speed and strength.
      Skal was just not physically ready to play at this level when he came in.
      He is a very gifted shooter and an adequate ball handler.
      I agree with others that Cal is forcing him to be a square peg in a round hole by being a traditional post up center.

      Skal is a stretch 4. The same position as Poythress.

      He simply cannot handle playing against D1 centers in the post and be all we needed him to be there.
      That’s why his pro upside still exists. He is a pick and pop stretch 4 and no matter what happens this year, if he goes in the draft he will still be taken higher than any other on the team (except Murray).

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:18 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

      “Score the ball” IS really stupid but unfortunately has gained traction throughout the basketball world as a real thing.

      Rest, glad to see some optimism from you, in the comment that you hope to be wrong. I also hope the same.

      Could we play two stretch- fours with no true center? Maybe 2 guys playing the 4.5? Just crazy talk, I know.

  9. DelrayCat
    11:15 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

    Skal’s game needs to mimic Chris Bosh.
    Bosh is not a true center. He is a stretch 4, but regularly guards the other team’s center.
    Bosh is a great jump shooter and I see flashes of him in Skal.
    It is a reach I know, but the skillset is there. He just needs to hit the weight room and work hard for a couple of years. Hopefully, he does that at UK.

  10. ekywildcat
    12:56 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

    In my best Dickie V voice “O my whats he doing to Tyler” As far as Skal, man what a mystery. How can a player fool that many analysts and Cal. I hope the light comes on soon so he can move on out and we sign Bolden.