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Kentucky Basketball beats Vanderbilt Commodores: 3 things to know and postgame banter

The Cats pull out another hard-fought victory.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky WIldcats have shown that winning on the road is no easy task, and that was the case Saturday against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

But in the end, the Cats pulled out another hard-fought victory. It was close in the end, but the Cats made enough plays down the stretch to pull out a 74-67 win.

Here are three things to know:

Wenyen Gabriel is playing more confident.

For too long Wenyen would seem too afraid to pull the trigger from beyond the arc. What would end up happening is he’d pump fake, drive to the lane, and usually end up traveling immediately. Now, he understands that he can make that shot, and his play is starting to reflect that a lot more.

He’s a 44% three-point shooter, and the only player that has a better percentage from there is Shai. Wenyen is also developing his defensive game very nicely. That play towards the end of the first half was a huge momentum shifter that allowed Kentucky to finish the half on a 9-2 run. Without Wenyen, Kentucky doesn’t win today.

PJ Washington is turning into this team’s Julius Randle

With each game coming and going, I can’t help but make this comparison. Julius was a very aggressive player that may not always get the board, but you better believe he’s going to fight for it. I see a lot of the same traits in PJ.

Randle always played hard on both sides of the court, and he had a big impact in determining the flow of the game. Kentucky would not have made it to the 2014 championship game without Julius, will the same be said for PJ at the end of the year? I think so.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be the starting point guard for the rest of the season.

Today we figured out that Shai can do anything and everything necessary that a successful starting point guard needs to do. He can penetrate the rim, shoot the three, direct the offense, and even pick up some key boards.

With Quade being out these last two games, Shai has had the opportunity to truly run this team, and he has not disappointed. He’s had 16 and 22 points in his last two, not to mention he’s played nearly the entire game both times. He can lead this team to a championship, so expect Cal to favor him over Quade if and when Quade comes back.