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Vanderbilt Commodores 57, Kentucky Wildcats 65: Post-Game Brow Wipe

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Vanderbilt gives Kentucky a serious challenge, but the Wildcats triumph to go 18-0.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky once again finds themselves in a competitive game on its home floor, this time with the Vanderbilt Commodores. For some reason, Kevin Stallings has found a formula that allows his teams to be competitive even when they are out-manned significantly, and this might be his best coaching job in years despite the pedestrian record.

Congratulations to Vanderbilt for an outstanding effort. This was some really good basketball played by a team who was undersized and out-athleted at almost every position, but they executed extremely well not only on offense, but on defense. Kentucky blocked a lot of shots, but look, Vandy didn’t let that bother them, they just trotted down and played hard and mostly really well on the defensive end. Great game by them, and if they can repeat that a few times this season, they will pull some upsets. I know their schedule is really unfavorable early, but they have been competitive with everybody including Kentucky.

Final Stats

Observations

  • Kentucky played really well defensively against a Hot Team™, and struggled on offense. Bad decison making, poor execution, and turnovers really hurt Kentucky’s offense. There is no excuse for how poorly Kentucky played on offense tonight.

  • Kentucky has been on a roll this last couple of games, and were due for a setback. I had the feeling this was a kind of trap game despite the projected margin.

  • Vandy shot 40% from the arc and made 7 threes. That is the very definition of a Hot Team™.

  • Turnovers were a serious problem in this basketball game for Kentucky. I haven’t had to say that for a long time, which is good.

  • Once again, this Wildcats squad has shown itself to be loss-phobic. When the going got tough, the tough grew hair on their palms, hulked up and made plays. That’s what great teams do when faced with an off night.

  • UK is still sharing the ball at a 50% or better clip. That’s nice to see.

  • A few guys really didn’t play well tonight, and it was like some kind of self-reinforcing feedback loop — the worse one played, the more the others struggled.

  • The experienced guys really showed it tonight for Kentucky. The freshmen, taken as a group, struggled.

We’ve all known that we were going to face these kind of games, it’s league play and teams go off sometimes. All these coaches know what works against all the others, and there are no secrets, particularly when it comes to Kentucky. League play is always the toughest, but it is the gamut we must face.

We’re 18-0, and I think that’s something to celebrate. Go, ‘Cats!