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Missouri Tigers 37 at Kentucky Wildcats 86: The Cats Return To Normal

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Kentucky returns to form in a big way against Missouri.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Well, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, that was much more like it. The Kentucky Wildcats in this game took hold of the contest early, delivered the kind of defensive intensity and offensive execution we had been used to seeing in the non-conference portion of the schedule. This was the Kentucky we had come to know and love last year, and one we hadn’t seen this year until now.

Missouri is a young team, and it really showed tonight. The Tigers just ran into a focused group of Wildcats who had apparently had enough of getting challenged and dragged into overtime by less talented teams. There is no shame in getting thumped by Kentucky this year, as Missouri is in fairly good company with Kansas, Providence, and some other good basketball teams that came up on the short end of an encounter with the Wildcats. We wish Missouri the best, and Mizzou fans should be secure in the knowledge that their team’s best basketball lies ahead of them.

Final stats

Observations

  • Kentucky’s defense was not just good, it was positively terrifying. There was nothing Missouri could do.

  • Kentucky took good care of the ball, and shared the ball with each other, assisting on almost half their made baskets.

  • The Wildcats shot a fine percentage from the arc, and also from the line. It’s very impressive to see Kentucky when they play a total game.

  • Kentucky rebounded great, and even did a good job on the defensive glass. That still needs to improve more, but they’ll have to get there over time, and if they do, they will be very tough to beat.

  • Very happy with the ballhandling in this game. When Kentucky takes good care of the ball, they become much more efficient.

  • Zone offense was better, but could be better still. I really don’t know why this is so hard.

  • Intensity was there today, and so was execution, particularly on defense. I really loved how strongly Kentucky was able to close out on the 3-point line, and how much better their rotations were when going for blocks.

This was what Kentucky needed, and certainly is nice for the Big Blue Nation. Everyone was tired of hearing the "concerns" from around the nation about their last two games. I think we won’t be hearing a whole lot more about that for a while, at least until Saturday.

The full postmortem will be along tomorrow morning. Go, ‘Cats!