The Kentucky Wildcats lay the wood to a short-handed Georgia Bulldogs team in Rupp Arena today, and it was due to a very complete Kentucky game. Georgia's personnel deficiencies were probably responsible only for the size of the margin, not the ultimate outcome.
Kudos to Georgia for the fight they showed for the first 30 minutes or so of the ball game. Later in the game, the lack of available bodies really showed when they got tired, and Kentucky just kept substituting fresh bodies in and out. The end of the game was pretty much a bunch of UK fast breaks ahead of an exhausted and frustrated Georgia squad.
Final box score from UK-Georgia: pic.twitter.com/mZN13HABTq— CoachCal.com (@CoachCalDotCom) January 25, 2014
I'll have the full postmortem later, I have to exercise and take care of some domestic matters, but here are some quick takeaways:
Kentucky played their best game of the season tonight. Execution was mostly sharp on both sides of the ball. Turnovers were a problem, and rebounding wasn't as good as it should have been, but to be fair, Georgia is a very good rebounding team.
3-point and free throw shooting are both improving. Willie Cauley-Stein even made his free throws.
Speaking of WCS, he had a very good game as well. He didn't score much, but that's not his game. He defended, blocked shots, and got steals.
Alex Poythress continues to be a major contributor in every aspect of the game.
This was perhaps Julius Randle's best basketball game. Forget the points, he did a great job of drawing people to him and hitting open players for either an assist or a "hockey" assist — the pass that lead to the pass. He's the leader in the clubhouse for player of the game, but I'll have to take a closer look first.
The ball movement today is something we have not seen from this team this year. Could this be the epiphany moment?
As a team, this was far and away the best Kentucky has played, and it isn't even close. We've had some good individual effort games from multiple players, but this game showed real teamwork.
That's it for now. More in a while.