For the fourth straight game, Kentucky’s guard play made their presence felt on both ends of the court. Kentucky gained an early 21-11 lead and never looked back. The Wildcats routed the Duquesne Dukes 93-59 to start their season 4-0.
Guards Dominate Again
One of the biggest themes of UK’s offense this season has been how much of the offensive load the guards are taking on. Against Duquesne, we saw De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe combine for 43 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. They weren’t too shabby on on defense either with seven steals and blocked two shots.
Fox, the team’s star freshman point guard, logged 16 points seven rebounds and six assists. His 16 points and six assists led the team. Fox’s ability to see his teammates in the open court has provided a huge spark on the fast break in addition to being just a great kid.
Briscoe, the team’s returning star, stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, five assists and three rebounds. His leadership and lock-down defense led the team to limit the Duke’s to 30% shooting and 18 turnovers.
Monk slowed down after his 23-point outing against Michigan State, putting up 14 on 6-12 from the field and just 2-8 from behind the 3-point line.
The guards were a big reason why Kentucky held Duquesne to just 30% shooting from the field and 20% from behind the three point line. Duquesne’s starting guards shot a combined 6-of-20 from the field and 1-of-6 from 3-point range. The Wildcats also forced 18 turnovers and blocked 10 shots.
Bam Finding His Groove
After a slow start to the season, Edrice “Bam” Adebayo logged 24 quality minutes for 12 points and eight rebounds, along with two steals and blocks. He recorded just two fouls tonight, his least in any game this season.
Foul trouble has been Bam’s biggest issue in the first three games. If you can’t get on the court, you can’t dominate the way Bam is capable of doing to just about any team in the nation.
Bam’s offense also continues to look better and better every game as he’s finding his sweet spots in the post.
Reserves Stepping Up
A big story to come out before the game even started was freshman forward Wenyen Gabriel getting the start over senior forward Derek Willis. Gabriel made the most of it while logging eight points and six boards. He’s also a menace on defense and has more than earned the right to start many more games this season.
But Gabriel wasn’t the only normal reserve to step up. Senior wing Mychal Mulder gave UK a big spark off the bench, scoring 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting with 3-of-8 coming from behind the 3-point arc.
Mulder also showed off his freakish athleticism that people often forget about.
UK is clearly not a strong 3-point shooting tram, so if Mulder can come in and give them 8-10 points when the offense is struggling to hit outside shots, this UK team only becomes harder for anyone in college hoops to hang with.