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Eastern Kentucky Colonels 49, Kentucky Wildcats 82: First Impressions

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Kentucky easily dispatches the EKU Colonels, but didn't exactly play their best.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats won convincingly again, mostly with dunks and lobs over the much smaller Eastern Kentucky Colonels. It was one of those games that you know is going to be relatively ugly, and despite a large number of pretty lobs and easy baskets, the offense for Kentucky looked really out of sync, and there were way too many turnovers for my liking.

Eastern Kentucky played hard, but they were just overmatched. I admired their defensive effort, they did everything they could against the taller Wildcats, but the physical disadvantage was just way too much to overcome. Having said that, kudos to coach Neubauer and his tough young Colonels, and thanks for the game.

The biggest drama of this game was whether or not Kentucky would make a 3-point shot, and who would deliver but Aaron Harrison, ice-cold all day, with about 3 minutes to go in the game. Aaron showed that he was still Mr. Clutch by keeping a very long streak intact. Shortly thereafter, Karl-Anthony Towns showed everyone that the 3-point shot is very much within his range.

Final game stats, courtesy of John Clay

UK-EKU box

Observations

  • I was extremely disappointed overall in Kentucky’s play in the second half, particularly defensively. They were lackadaisical and unfocused. I guess I should give them a break on that, though, it wasn’t really as if the game were in doubt.

  • I think Kentucky couldv’e handled the pressure better. That needs work before we face Louisville.

  • I think it was a combination of better execution and weaker defense that allowed Eastern to get into a better offensive rhythm in the second half. I would have like to see fewer open looks from three for Eastern.

  • 17 dunks. Very impressive.

  • What a great weekend this has been for UK sports. A big victory over a top ten foe on Friday, the women’s team beat Louisville in the YUM! Center today, and this game. The only downer is volleyball losing in the NCAA Tournament.

  • 11 blocks. Kentucky keeps up the good work there.

  • I know UK dominated the offensive glass by a lot, but we'll wait for the postmortem for the magnitude and details.

  • Kentucky had six steals, but they allowed Eastern 8 takeaways. That’s not great.

  • Kentucky definitely has to improve the picks they set. So many of them were weak today.

  • I strongly disagree with the flagrant foul on Marcus Lee.

That’s about all I have to say, this was one of those games that was supposed to be pretty easy to win, and it was. Eastern made it ugly because that’s what they do, but UK helped them by mishandling the ball and generally taking far too many bad shots for my liking. But then again, if you are going to do things like that, this was the game to do it.

We'll have the postmortem tomorrow, as usual.  Then, it's on to Columbia in three days!