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UK Basketball Midseason Grades

Grading all of the Cats who’ve made an impact thus far.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Mississippi State Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

We have passed the halfway point of the tough Kentucky Basketball schedule. The Cats have won 16 games and only lost two thus far, losing to UCLA by only five points and losing to the other team in Kentucky, the Louisville Cardinals by only three points.

After crossing the halfway point, several Cats have stepped up this season, and now I think it's time to give every player a grade based on their performance up to this point of the season.

I would like to start with the person most believe is the team leader, Isaiah Briscoe. Briscoe had one of the three triple-doubles that has been posted in Kentucky Basketball History. Briscoe is averaging 15.2 points-per-game and 4.2 assists-per-game. Briscoe has improved tremendously in every aspect of the game, especially free throws, shooting over 70% from the line. Briscoe has had a huge impact for the Cats this season, and I expect him to keep making a big Impact.

Overall Grade- A

De'Aaron Fox is the next person up. Fox was the second person in Kentucky Basketball history to achieve a triple-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Fox is averaging a very good 16.7 points-per-game and 6.4 assists-per-game. The only downfall to Fox's play would probably be his shooting. His runner is good, and he is very good at getting to the basket and making plays happen; Fox just needs to work on his jump shot.

Overall Grade- A-

Malik Monk is next up for the not-so-famous Jordan Abrams Grade Sheet. Monk had one of the best offensive games in school history, when he scored 47 points against North Carolina, helping Kentucky to one of the most exciting wins I have ever seen. Monk is averaging points-per-game and hasn't really had a terrible game. The only negative I have seen is, Monk needs to rebound better. I know that he is trying to get back on offense, but two rebounds-per-game isn't going to cut it at the next level, especially being his size and having that athletic ability. But, if it wasn't for Malik Monk, the Cats would probably have lost against Carolina and a couple other games.

Overall Grade- A

Bam Adebayo is next up. Adebayo has been playing very well in the last two months. He has shown drastic improvement since the first game of the year. Bam is averaging 12.8 points-per-game as well as 7.2 rebounds-per-game. This is a great number saying where he started. Adebayo could not stay out of foul trouble in the beginning of the season. After Adebayo learned how to play without fouling, he has been very impressive. The one negative is that he is inconsistent at times. Adebayo needs to always get his back to the basket and get position down low. If he can get within five feet of the basket, he will convert 90 percent of the time. I think Adebayo has been very good, but there is still room for improvement.

Overall Grade- B+

Wenyen Gabriel is last up for the starting five. Gabriel has been very good the past two games. Gabriel had 16 rebounds against Auburn and going 5-5 from the field getting 13 points and 8 rebounds against Mississippi State. Gabriel was in a bit of a midseason slump before these past two games, but slowly he has picked it up and proved why he should be in the starting lineup. The only downfall to Gabriel's game right now in my opinion is that he needs to be a big rebounder every night. With his size, he should be pounding on the boards. I believe he will keep improving this part of his game.

Overall Grade- B

Now I'm going to grade the 6-10 players for the Cats.

First up off the bench is

Overall Grade- B+

Dominique Hawkins is up next. Hawkins has been good this season. Maybe he has not had that game like the Louisville game last year, but he has been consistently good. Hawkins brings more to the table than most, he brings a lot of leadership to the team. He has improved his game driving to the basket and making pull up jump shots, but needs to work on his shot a bit more. Hawkins has been the guy when the Cats have needed a big three this year, just like last year though. Hawkins will be big down the stretch for the Cats.

Overall Grade- A-

Isaac Humphries evaluation time has come. I'm just going to be honest... I was one of the people that was thinking Humphries had improved tremendously from last year into this year. Don't get me wrong, he has improved, just not what he should've. His body has improved, now he just has to be big. Down low he has been okay, but not great. I think if he just focuses on the pick and roll game and isn't afraid to take that jump shot he developed he will be fine. It's almost like he has played scared up until the game against Mississippi State. Humphries will be here another year, and he will improve more throughout the year.

Overall Grade- C

Mychal Mulder is now up to bat. Mulder has been a very nice asset that Cal has added to his arsenal. Mulder has brought more athleticism to the game as well as the great ability to shoot the three-pointer. Mulder is averaging 6.8 points-per-game this season. That doesn't sound like a lot, but being the number eight or nine guy off the bench, that's pretty dang good. Mulder has had a weird few years at UK, but I think this is a very good year for him. Good for you Mike Mulder.

Overall Grade- A+

Sacha Killeya-Jones is now up. Killeya-Jones has been eh. By eh I mean he has been okay. I thought after the first couple games of the year, Killeya Jones was going to be a tough hand for someone to be dealt, but he just has not impressed me that much. He has come into several games and got himself into foul trouble very quickly. If he can stay out of foul trouble I think he can help, but, the more foul trouble he is in, the less Coach Cal will trust him and give him minutes.

Overall Grade- C-

Coach Calipari has had a good season thus far. He has done very well getting all of these freshmen prepared and helping Kentucky to No. 5 in the country according to the AP poll and No. 1 in the KenPon rankings. The only thing he could've done is beat Louisville. Other than that, I'm so thankful to have John Calipari as the head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky.

Overall Grade-A

The Cats have a long road ahead of them to get NationalChampionshipp Number nine, but it is still very possible. Kentucky has gone up in the rankings the past three weeks and will continue to climb in the rankings as long as they keep winning true road games and games they have to win. If the Cats beat Kansas, we will talk more.

Until then, sit back, enjoy the ride, and let's get number nine.