After a week full of distractions, the Kentucky Wildcats tuned out the noise and whipped the Missouri Tigers Saturday night with the score of 87-66*.
Here are four things to know from the game:
Kentucky has not been a strong shooting team this season, particularly from the perimeter. Saturday night was a completely different story as the Cats opened up the game by shooting 80% (8 for 10) from behind the 3-point line in the first half. They cooled down in the second half, but it was still one of their best shooting performances of the season, finishing up by hitting 62.5% of their attempts from behind the arc.
Remember Virginia Tech Hami?
That’s the Hami this team has been badly missing in SEC play, but he finally showed up in a big way against Missouri. After not hitting a three-pointer since the blowout at Texas A&M, Diallo hit three from deep against the Tigers. He didn’t force as much and took open shots when they came. He also passed the ball well with no turnovers and two assists.
If this Hami keeps showing up, Kentucky may not only win out going into the NCAA Tournament, but they may be capable of making a deep run in the Big Dance.
Kevin Knox responds after allegations
Many wondered how Kevin Knox would respond to his name in appearing to the Yahoo! Sports report from Pete Thamel and Pat Forde. The report suggested that he had an impermissible dinner with an agent prior to playing at Kentucky.
After an internal investigation, Knox was quickly deemed eligible by the UK administration. Despite the controversy, Knox came out and had a great game against Missouri. Although his minutes were limited in the first half, he finished with 21 points and shot 6-of-13 from the field. His performance in the midst of controversy should be encouraging for the big blue faithful.
Jarred Vanderbilt is a machine
It has been that Vanderbilt has been slowly finding his place with this Kentucky team. However, over the course of the last week he has turned into an absolute monster. Vanderbilt had 10 rebounds in just 13 minutes in the first half, and finished the game with 11 points and 14 boards in 27 minutes in his first double-double of the season.
His rebounding numbers are absolutely absurd, and the Wildcats are also benefiting from the energy he brings to the entire team when he is on the court. It is obviously contagious.
As if that was not enough, he is also finding ways to score. Against the Tigers, he shot 42.9% from the field and scored in a variety of ways. Look out in March, he is quickly becoming a game-changer.
*After the game ended, UK announced that there was a scoring error and the final score was 87-66.
Now, let’s celebrate a fun night in Rupp!