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Wenyen Gabriel was the real MVP today

He may not have flashy numbers like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Kevin Knox but Wenyen Gabriel was a big reason Kentucky beat Vanderbilt today.

Gabriel finished with seven points (3-8), nine rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one steal in 29 minutes, but his energy extended past the box score. Afterwards, John Calipari said he can’t afford to leave Wenyen off the floor for too long because most times, he’s the only guy showing consistent effort.

“Wenyen’s effort, it’s just — you’ve gotta keep him in the game,” Cal said.

The difference between freshman Wenyen and sophomore Wenyen? Confidence. On one play in the first half, he channeled Josh Harrellson when he swatted Saban Lee’s shot then saved the ball by bouncing it off Lee as he went out of bounds.

After the Texas A&M game, Calipari said PJ Washington was the only player exhibiting toughness; today, Cal said he failed to include Wenyen in that rare air.

“Wenyen was the other one,” Cal said. “He’s always done that.”

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander agreed.

“Wenyen was big for us today and that’s what we all expect from him, the energy he brings. He always plays 100% all of the time and does what we need to win. He did a good job today.”

Yes, he did.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

13 Comments for Wenyen Gabriel was the real MVP today

  1. Luether
    7:35 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

    Can’t be happy with 25% FT shooting by WG. This alone could have cost us the game had Vandy played competently down the stretch…

    • 4everUKblue
      7:51 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

      Too bad for you he made some big plays down the stretch and doesn’t play for your team LittleBrother.

  2. Aar
    7:49 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

    Based upon his play so far this season, I think Gabriel will be ready for the pros by the end of the season. He can contribute as a “D and 3” guy already as a stretch 4. If he continues the rate of progression he’s shown so far this season, he should be able to bring more by the post-season. I’m not saying “he gone” or anything like that and he may not be a lock for the NBA but nearly ready to contribute at the pro level.

    • Peas and Carrots
      8:23 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

      I think Wenyen is capable and on the track to be an NBA player but i don’t see it after this year. If he keeps progressing he could slide in to a lottery pick after his junior year like WCS.

    • crazycatfan65
      10:29 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

      Hes going to have to learn how to dribble the ball before even thinking about the NBA next year.

    • Luether
      11:19 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

      Ha! There’s not one guy on this Team that’s ready for the pros – least of all WG…

  3. RexRox
    8:16 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

    “he swatted Saban Lee’s shot then saved the ball by bouncing it off Lee as he went out of bounds.” – highlight of the game. Lee challenged Gabriel and got educated.

  4. Mathlete
    9:12 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

    Wenyen would lead the team if hustle was a stat

    • Luether
      11:20 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

      And if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his a$$ every time he jumps…

  5. EdC
    11:26 pm January 13, 2018 Permalink

    I am a huge Wenyen fan but he wasn’t the real mvp.

    Yes he seems to work hardest and get the most 50/50s, etc. but SGA played 10 more minutes, shot 7-11 vs Wenyen’s 3-8 shot 7-10 free throws vs Wenyen’s 1-4 had 6 assists, 3 turovers (2:1) vs Wenyen’s 1 assist, 1 turnover (1:1) .

    Wenyen did get 2 blocks vs 0 and and 9 rebounds vs 4. Of course we lose without Wenyen but SGA is pretty clearly the MVP.

  6. terwilliger
    8:50 am January 14, 2018 Permalink

    Any lip readers want to give it a shot? Looks like “don’t bring that sh*t!” To me. Love it!

  7. vandzandz
    11:19 am January 14, 2018 Permalink

    I’ve grown to love WG. His hustle, determination, passion and hard work should be a inspiration to the rest of this Kentucky team.

  8. Jesus H. Chrysler
    3:47 pm January 14, 2018 Permalink

    The force is strong within The Dark Knight #32