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Kentucky Basketball Good, Bad, and Ugly: Auburn Edition

Big performances from Ulis and Willis are overshadowed by lack of frontcourt production, again.

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Well that wasn't pretty to watch.

Auburn shot the ball fantastic from three, the frontcourt players for the Wildcats were unproductive once again, and Kentucky lost a double-digit lead in the second half and fell by a score of 75-70 to the Auburn Tigers, a team they had beaten 18 (EIGHTEEN) consecutive times.

With that being said, let's get to the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good: Tyler Ulis and Derek Willis

If the Cats had player(s) of the game for this game, these two should share it. Tyler Ulis flirted with a triple-double (17 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists). You read that right, 10 rebounds. That was more than Marcus Lee, Alex Poythress, and Skal Labissiere... COMBINED. On top of that, just one turnover for the whole game. Ulis put the team on his back late in the game, and made several big-time plays but it was not enough to pick up the victory.

I'm sorry Dan Dakich, but I'll put Tyler Ulis on that list of top five college point guards every time.

Derek Willis enjoyed his first career triple-double, and if the Cats had won, he would be the top subject of the game. After Coach Calipari has publicly called him out, Willis came to play against Auburn, scoring 12 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Willis hustled, fought for loose balls, and played tough on the glass.

Cal was proud of Willis' effort and ultimately, his performance may have been good enough to move him up in the rotation. Calipari said of Willis, "I was so happy for him. If you asked me, he moved ahead of all the other bigs."

If Willis continues to play with as much energy and hustle as he did against Auburn, there is no reason he shouldn't see more minutes.

The Bad: Late-game collapse

The Wildcats blew a 12-point lead in six minutes. Auburn caught fire from the three-point line and erased the Wildcats lead. The Tigers couldn't seem to miss, and the Wildcats struggled to make shots on the offensive end late in the game to off-set the Tigers' hot offense.

Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis both missed big shots late in the game, and the Wildcats ultimately fell apart. It's hard to manage against teams that catch fire like the Tigers did, but the really good teams are able to withstand runs such as that.

This seems to be an issue, as Kentucky dealt with a similar issue against Mississippi State in their last game. The Cats have to learn how to finish teams off when they gain a double-digit lead in the second half.

The Ugly: The Frontcourt...Again

Wash, rinse, and repeat. This is a recurring theme, and at some point, Kentucky has to get production out of the frontcourt.

Marcus Lee: 3 points, 4 rebounds, 3 fouls

Alex Poythress: 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 fouls

Skal Labissiere: 4 points, 2 rebounds, 3 fouls

When the smallest player on your team outrebounds three of the biggest players on your team COMBINED, that is an issue. Period.

If Kentucky wants to make a serious run in March, it'll take better performances from their frontcourt trio. Until then, Kentucky is extremely vulnerable and will find themselves in situations like they did against Auburn much more frequently. Here's to hoping they figure it out soon.