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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Basketball-Football Overlap Edition

The time has come for football and basketball to overlap, and this year finds UK ranked in both sports for the first time in over a decade.

Vanderbilt v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

This has to be one of the best times for UK sports aficionados every year — the middle of football season and the beginning of basketball season’s earliest stages. This weekend will see the first of the football-basketball back-to-backs — basketball on Friday and football on Saturday. Exciting times.

Speaking first of basketball: I was encouraged by what I saw in the Blue-White game on Sunday. Kentucky vs. Kentucky showed that a lot of the problems UK had to live with last year will be addressed to some degree in this season’s team. Let’s list those weaknesses and their remedy just to keep us straight:

  • Offensive efficiency — Kentucky suffered from an average 2-point and 3-point percentage, coupled with a well below-average free throw percentage.
  • 3-point shooting — nothing can up your OE like a high 3-point shooting percentage, and judging from what we saw, UK should be much better at range.
  • 3-point attempts — Kentucky attempted the eighth-fewest 3-pointers in Division I last year, 344th out of 351. That will change, and coupled with a better percentage, should up OE significantly.
  • 2-point percentage — with the improvement of Nick Richards and the matriculation of Reid Travis and EJ Montgomery, that percentage is likely to improve.
  • Turnovers — Kentucky’s ballhandling was barely average last season. The return of Quade Green and PJ Washington, two of the biggest turnover culprits as freshman as well as a plethora of talented guards suggests this will improve. Live ball turnovers were a particular problem last season.

I can’t address the defense at this point. With pests like Keldon Johnson and Ashton Hagans, as well as length like Richardson, Travis and Montgomery, odds seem in favor of an improvement in DE as well.

Football Remarks

There is now a buzz about the possibility of Terry Wilson sharing time at QB this weekend because of his lackluster play in the last two games. I am of two minds about this — I like to see coaches stick with their choice, generally, but I also can’t fault the staff for being proactive about what appears to be a significant chink in Kentucky’s armor.

Wilson appears to have hit a bit of a wall, and his confidence looks a little shaken, if you read between the lines of Coach Stoops’ comments the other day. One thing a QB cannot afford is a confidence problem, and that may be the thing that most worries the staff about his ongoing difficulties.

We shall see.

Tweet of the Morning

Great, kids. Don’t get cocky.

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