Well, the Kentucky Wildcats managed to come out of the first half with a lead after a bit of a tough stretch late in the half against the Kansas State Wildcats. I warned everyone that if there was one thing this Kansas St. team was good at, it was defense, and hanging around. They are very tough to run away from, and they showed why at the end of the first half.
First Half Stats
UK shot just 33.3 percent from the field, but has a 22-16 rebounding edge. Box score: pic.twitter.com/ffm7mkxksX— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) March 22, 2014
I liked what I saw, for the most part, from Kentucky. We were very fortunate to come out of that half with no real foul trouble, and with the exception of a cold James Young and a limited number of shot attempts from Julius Randle, it was a serviceable first half that, but for a few plays and missed open shots, could have easily been one of the best overall halves of basketball Kentucky has played all year. Which, of course, makes me very, very nervous.
Kentucky must improve their outside shooting, particularly James Young. Young has to make his open shots from the outside. UK could have done a better job of getting the ball to the basket more, but in order to open up the inside, you have to be a threat from the outside. Kentucky has only been marginally a threat from the perimeter, although Aaron Harrison has been quite deadly.
We need more from Johnson, we need more from Randle, and we need more from Young. Kentucky needs to continue to do what they do best, which is rebound and get extra shots. They've also done a very good job so far of taking care of the basketball, but with only a six point lead, shooting is a real issue.
Make more shots. Keep defending hard. Go, Big Blue!