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Kentucky Basketball: Takeaways from Wildcats’ win over Asbury

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The Cats have wrapped up their exhibition slate with the regular season now here.

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Asbury was overmatched from the start, but kudos to them for coming in and competing at Commonwealth. They took home a hefty $20,000 check for their effort.

What can you say about a 156-63 win for John Calipari’s star-studded Kentucky Wildcats? For starters, do not try to press this team. Every opposing coach should look at this game and think, “The last thing I want to do is speed them up”. Because if this Kentucky team is allowed to go at their pace, it’s going to be lights out.

I know the competition wasn’t great by any stretch of the imagination. It wasn’t even a little bit good. But this may be the most athletic Kentucky team John Calipari has ever had at Kentucky. They are so fast and so long, it is going to be difficult for most teams to keep up with them,

And now, some thoughts.

  • I highly doubt there are 5 players in the country better than De’Aaron Fox. He is the 6th ranked prospect in the country according to ESPN, but the point guard looked amazing tonight. He showcased his John Wall speed and was able to get to the rim anytime he wanted. He finished with 25 points, 4 assists, and 4 steals.
  • I was extremely impressed with Mychal Mulder. He finished 4-9 from three-point range and had 20 points on the night. This was his last dress-rehearsal to prove to Cal that he is worthy of minutes, and I think he did an exceptional job. He played great defense and 11 rebounds to get a double-double. And on a night full of dunks, he capped it off with the best one:

  • I continue to be impressed with the way Derek Willis is able to score from multiple points on the floor. The senior isn’t just a sharpshooter, he can get it done from just about anywhere.
  • Eight players scored in double figures. That’s a lot.
  • Kind of a quiet night for Bam Adebayo. Only 9 points and 6 rebounds for the big guy but he sat for a long stretch in the first half. I think Cal wanted to see how Isaac Humphries looked in extended minutes. And he looked good. The Aussie had only four points but he grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked a couple of shots. That is exactly what Kentucky will need from him.
  • Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe paired with De’Aaron Fox on defense and in transition just isn’t going to be fair. All three guards get after it on defense and they are looking to run as soon as one of them has a steal. They combined for 10 steals tonight.
  • That was the most points scored by a Kentucky team. Ever.
  • I don’t know what all of that “wooing” is about in the crowd but it needs to stop. I think we can all get behind this:
  • Dominique Hawkins ran the point a bit and looked good doing it. He’s going to be important for his handle on the game.
  • Keep knocking down those jumpers, Wenyen Gabriel.

The Cats now look towards their regular-season opener this Friday night. Stephen F. Austin comes to Rupp Arena fresh off of an NCAA Tournament berth. They’ll be a great first-game test for these young Cats.