Welp, arguably only 66% of 1/3 of the "encouragement" benchmarks I set for the 'Cats on Friday night were met.
*Malik Monk, very inefficiently (3-11/0-6), mustered just 12 points. In case you missed it, Monk is suffering from a "lower body injury."
What is this, hockey?!? Seriously, though, here's hoping that Monk can work through it. He's a magical scorer and any deep run in this Tournament will require significant contributions from the Arkansan.
*UK sported a woeful 12-12 AST-TO ratio.
*Finally, and what makes up that aforementioned, are the seniors. Derek Willis' shot was maddeningly inconsistent (2-7/2-6) but the Bullitt County Lothario was active on the boards (7 rebounds) and the squad's best -- and timeliest -- rim protector (3 blocks). Dominique Hawkins was mostly quiet, but contributed 7 points on 3 shots. Mychal Mulder was mostly a no-show in just 4 minutes.
That said...I still like my team to win today. Especially against a mouthy MVC squad (here and here) whose best win during the season was a walloping of a NIT team at home.
There were plenty of positives from Friday's win, which bode well over the next few weeks. First and foremost, was Edrice Adebayo's 15-18 double-double, which included 6 offensive rebounds. He also collected just 2 fouls in 37 minutes on the floor. Isaiah Briscoe also stuffed the stat sheet, with a 17-8-2-2-2 line, with just 1 foul. De'Aaron Fox shot well (19 points on 8-15 shooting), but had just 3 dimes to 6 turnovers.
Here are some links to take in while you wait for the 2:40 EST tip on CBS:
*Jason's preview (ASoB).
*UK players had trouble explaining what a Shocker is.
*Alex Forkner's 247Sports preview. Forkner is still my go-to for NCAAB game previews.
*Joe Mussatto's SEC County preview.
*UK players preview the clash (CoachCal.com).
*Check out the ASoB Staff & Readers Bracket Challenge standings. They shuffle each and every time a game ends.