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Kentucky Basketball: Highlights and takeaways from bounceback win over ETSU

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Hot takes from Rupp Arena as the Cats get back in the win column after defeating East Tennessee State 78-61

NCAA Basketball: East Tennessee State at Kentucky
Quade Green (0) shoots the ball against East Tennessee State Buccaneers guard Jalan McCloud (12) and forward Mladen Armus (33) In the first half at Rupp Arena. 
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

After a hard-fought battle against fourth-ranked Kansas on Tuesday night in Chicago that ultimately resulted in a 65-61 loss, Kentucky bounced back to a 78-61 victory over East Tennessee State in Rupp Arena Friday.

Trailing by 10 through the game’s first eight minutes, the Cats looked a little hungover from their trip to Chi City earlier in the week, but thanks to a clutch performance by freshman point guard Quade Green, they went up 36-30 by halftime.

Some takeaways from the evening:

Quade Green went off.

I didn’t either. He did it all, scoring wise. He hit three three-pointers, one more than his total amount of triples in the first three games. Green only had three assists, but shot nine of 13 from the field.

Sacha Killeya-Jones is better than Nick Richards

At this very moment, I don’t see how you could argue otherwise.

Stat lines through first four games:

Nick Richards: 61 minutes, 16 points, 19 rebounds, 11 fouls, 5 turnovers

Sacha Killeya-Jones: 81 minutes, 22 points, 23 rebounds, 10 fouls, 4 turnovers

Richards will get better as the season goes along, I just want to see more effort from the freshman...like now-ish. Sacha has been impressive. Nice to have some competition in there.

UK’s field goal percentage was nice...free throws were a different story.

The Cats shot a season-high 56.9 percent from the field in Friday night’s victory.

The Cats shot a horrendous 20 percent (3-of-15) from the free throw line. Are you kidding me? Could you imagine if UK shot like that in an SEC match-up? Not going to get it done. They’re a young team. Hopefully they figure it out.

The three-balls were flying. Nine to be exact.

Entering Friday’s game, the Cats had only made 10 total three-pointers through their first three games. On Friday they hit 9-of-16, good for 56.3 percent. Knox leads all Cats with eight total trifectas on the year.

Kentucky turned the ball over 22 times, including 13 in the second half.

Yikes. A lot of them were on offensive fouls, but still. Their season-high in the turnover category was four more than they committed against the fourth-ranked team in the country earlier this week.

At the end of the day...

I’ll take a 17-point victory over a team that made the NCAA Tournament last season. Next up: the Cats take on Troy on Monday night at 8p.m. in Rupp.

Now, enjoy some highlights of the win!

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