What a wild half of basketball that was between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Michigan Wolverines. We knew that Michigan was a very efficient and dangerous offensive team, and they proved that in spades. What we did not know, and neither did they, was that little-used freshman center Marcus Lee would come off the bench and go nuts with four (!) putback dunks and one block, to go along with a beautiful pick and roll.
First half statistics
Michigan shot 50 percent from the field, led by Stauskas's 18 points. UK has a 17-12 rebounding edge. Box score: pic.twitter.com/Y453PFN4K6— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) March 30, 2014
As the coach always says, you never know when your number will be called, and you need to be ready. I offer Marcus Lee as proof of that philosophy, and will also take a moment to remind the announcers, who seem to think Lee was some kind of fluke out of nowhere, that he is a McDonald's All-American for a reason. He's just on a team full of them. On any other team, he'd be seeing major minutes if not starting.
Now that we've disposed of that, Kentucky really has to figure out how to get back on the offensive glass with a passion. In the first half, Michigan really gave Kentucky trouble on the glass, and that should not happen, ever. It needs to change, and that's a fact.
Kentucky really needs to get more dominant in the paint. It was nice to see James Young play such a good half of basketball on both ends. Still, Kentucky gave up too many easy baskets on pick and roll, and still has a tendency to run away from open shooters, a really stupid and unfortunate tendency.
But we're in this one, and what we have to do now is continue to play hard, play well.