With all things considered, this was one of the best halves they have played all season. Kentucky shared the ball well, they made 3-point shots and a decent percentage of their free throws. Fouls became a problem (as I expected they would), and rebounding, while not awful, could have been better. Georgia is a very depleted team right now with one starter and a significant reserve out for this game, and yet Kentucky has not been able to dominate the Dawgs as much as they might.
UK-UGA halftime box score: pic.twitter.com/9becq94UKp— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthleticsNews) January 25, 2014
Having said that, I do like what I am seeing out there, for the most part. Randle's new commitment to finding open teammates along with a resurgent half of basketball by Willie Cauley-Stein really gives me a good feeling. Even if Georgia is depleted and not likely to be as much of a threat as they would be at full strength, Kentucky needs to focus on playing good basketball.
The one big complaint I have about the first half were the turnovers. Many of them were just poor habit passes and Julius Randle playing out of control. As the half wore on, UK tightened all that up and the result is a 12-point halftime lead. So far, Kentucky has done a fair job of keeping Charles Mann out of the lane, but they've had less luck with Brandon Morriss, who leads all scorers with 12 points.
I am somewhat surprised to see Georgia zoning, but it looks to me like a poor decision by Mark Fox. His team doesn't practice zone much and it really shows, as Kentucky has been able to take good advantage of it. On the upside, the more experience Kentucky gets against a zone, the better.
Let's hope for another good half, and we'll have our first complete game of the year.