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Friday Quickies: Praise for Wenyen Gabriel Edition

Wenyen Gabriel is a big reason why the young Cats are 12-2 heading into Saturday’s clash with the Vols.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

There may not be a more important seventh-leading scorer for a college team than Wenyen Gabriel this season. While few of his box scores are ever going to scream ‘wow,’ his impact this season for a young UK team cannot be overstated.

A big part of that is Gabriel grabbing so many key offensive rebounds in seemingly every close game this season. Against Virginia Tech, is was a pair of offensive putbacks late to help the Cats escape.

Against Georgia, it was a late three-pointer by Gabriel that effectively sealed the win. Then against LSU, a late offensive board led to a Shai Alexander layup by three, a lead UK would not relinquish.

Seeing the number of critical plays, Gabriel has made this season, you’d never think he was UK’s seventh-leading scorer, but he deserves recognition all the same. Without him, there’s no doubt in my mind UK has at least two more losses on its resume going into Saturday’s challenge in Knoxville.

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