Well it wasn’t pretty, but Kentucky got a bounce-back win against East Tennessee State. The Cats struggled mightily from the free throw line and gave up far too many free throws. But in a game in which there were eight freshmen playing against eight seniors, Kentucky did what it had to do, despite not even leaving themselves a ton of breathing room in the final score.
Here are three things to know.
That was a slow start
The first few minutes didn’t go as planned. The Cats went down 18-8, and not much was going right. Freshman big man Nick Richards had an especially tough time, as his only recorded stats in the first half were two fouls in five minutes of play. Freshman guard Quade Green was the steadying hand in all of the poor play, as he made his first five field goals. He finished the half with 12 points on 5-7 shooting with two 3-point makes. With Green’s guidance, Kentucky pulled out of their hole and took a 36-30 lead into the half.
Free throw shooting was horrible
The Wildcats missed their first eight free throws. Their first free throw make came with 7:55 remaining in the second half from Knox, at which point they were 1-9. They got a whopping two more free throws and finished the game 3-15 from the free throw line. The athleticism and raw ability is there, but the fundamental aspects of the game are still lacking, whether it be rebounding, half court offense or free throws. It’s certainly an aspect of this one that Calipari will be critical of.
Quade Green, Kevin Knox star
Quade Green was the scoring star tonight, and Kevin Knox put up his first career double-double. Green had 21 points on an efficient 9-13 shooting (3-5 from deep), and he also had three assists. Knox had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and tacked on two assists. Green helped the team get through their rough start, and Knox was seemingly the only guy that would rebound consistently (although PJ Washington had eight rebounds).
Here is the final box score:
Now, let’s talk about the win!