The Kentucky Wildcats walked away from this game with a blowout win, 107-73.
This was a season-high in scoring for multiple players such as Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo, and a season high in scoring as a team. Although the Wildcats pulled away with this win early-on, it wasn’t without some good, bad, and ugly moments.
The Good: 17-point halftime lead, Kevin Knox, and SGA
At the half, the Wildcats gave themselves a comfortable 52-35 Kentucky lead. These are the most points scored by this Cats team in the first half of a game this season. Kevin Knox showed us this game that he might be "That Guy" that Kentucky looks to in a tough situation down the stretch. Kevin Knox eventually ended the game with a season-high in points 25.
This halftime lead was set up by great play from Kevin Knox (15 points), Hamidou Diallo (11 points), and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (10 points, three assists, three rebounds).
SGA led the UK bench in scoring and showed again how tremendous he can be leading that second unit. Coach Cal decided to start the 2nd half with SGA at the point making Quade Green come off the bench after having three turnovers in the first half. He will need to watch the fouls if he has any hope of taking Greens starting position.
Quade ended the game with a solid stat line (12 points, six rebounds, and four assists) while also leading the team in three-pointers made with 2, but SGA held his own (14 points, five rebounds, and six assists) while also putting up a lone three-pointer. The future seems bright for both young guard, but which one will take the starting position next week is unknown.
The Bad: Getting into foul trouble early
Diallo, Quade Green, and P.J. Washington each had two personal fouls within the first eight minutes of the game. Multiple Cats finished the game with three-plus fouls, but they did manage to keep from fouling out. UIC had two players foul out of this blowout contest, which only defeated their spirit more.
When you have star players like Diallo and Washington getting benched due to foul trouble it hurts the flow of the offense that does so well with them in it. Luckily for the Wildcats, they were playing with a big lead and could comfortably bench starters with fouls.
The Ugly: Three-point shooting
The Cats shot a poor 20% from the three-point line at the end of the first half after only attempting five and eventually ending the game at 33.3% attempting 12 in total.
Over the last eight Kentucky seasons, only 30% of their shots have been three-point attempts, but this season, they have been taking even less at just 24%. Quade Green was the team’s best outside shooter finishing the game 66.7% going two of three.
Coach Cal has said before that, although this team does not take a lot of threes, they can make them when they do. This game was a perfect example of that. The change from the first half to the second was big.
After attempting seven in the 2nd half, they ended up making two more than they did in the 1st. The young Cats will need to build up a lot more confidence in their outside shooting, but they showed much more promise tonight.