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UK Wildcats Basketball: 7 more thoughts on a tough loss to Tennessee

A game Kentucky needed, but there’s still time to right the ship.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

That was disappointing to say the least.

Kentucky hosted Tennessee in what many believed to be a must win game and couldn’t get the job done as Tennessee gets the win 61-59.

The first half was hard to watch from an offensive standpoint as neither team was able to score and at the first media timeout it was tied 4-4. Scoring is not what happened through the half and with under 6 minutes left the game was tied at 12. However, both teams started scoring and at halftime Tennessee had a 27-26 lead.

In the second half, both teams continued to struggle and at the first media timeout the Vols led 35-32. As the game progressed both teams would exchange the lead and with 1:09 left Quade Green grabbed a rebound leading 58-56 and most fans felt good. However, two crucial turnovers by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander allowed the Vols to take a 3-point lead and ultimately Tennessee would come into Rupp and get a win.

Thoughts on the game

What happened to the offense?

At the beginning of the season this team was very efficient on the offensive end and struggled defensively. Now that appears to have flipped this team is struggling to score but playing good defense. I have no idea what happened to the offense, but Cal needs to figure it out. Once he does this team will be very hard to beat with the level our defense is playing at.

Once again Hami was a no show

Diallo has been struggling lately and tonight was no different. He finished with 0 points on 0/3 shooting and was a liability on defense. The toughness of this game and the SEC this year is just something he can’t handle. At this point Green and Shai should start to try to get off to a hot start.

This team will live and die with Knox

If this team wants to have success, then Knox must perform. When Knox is on this team looks totally different. When Knox struggles the team struggles and for this team to be truly good he must perform night in and night out. Tonight, he struggled, and we saw what transpired from it.

Quade Green is looking better

When Green was injured he came back with some issues. He was struggling which was expected and now he looks to be getting back in the groove. He had 15 points on 6/10 shooting and was attacking. The rest of the team needs to take notes on how he attacked the rim tonight.

Nick Richards showed improvement

This season Richards has struggled but tonight showed signs of improvement. Richards had just 5 points but grabbed 8 rebounds and made some big defensive plays for the Cats. Now he needs to build off this game and start to string performances together.

PJ Washington is in a slump

Ever since PJ was injured he hasn’t been the same. He seems to be timid on the floor and doesn’t have the same aggressiveness he had prior. In the game in Knoxville PJ had an incredible half before getting cramps. He hasn’t had the same production since and he needs to get back into his groove like Quade is beginning to do.

This team doesn’t pass very well

This is the third straight game where Kentucky had less than 10 total assists and that is awful. Cal has preached about getting this team to pass and they clearly haven’t bought into it yet. Ball movement is a big key for this teams success.