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Kentucky Basketball slams Alabama Crimson Tide: 4 Things to Know and Postgame Banter

Kentucky make light work of Alabama in one of the Cats’ best performances this season.

SEC Basketball Tournament - Semifinals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats handled the Alabama Crimson Tide this afternoon with a final score of 86-63. Wenyen Gabriel had a career day, scoring 23 to pace the Wildcats in a game that was never really in doubt.

Here are 4 things to know from the game:

An absent Kevin Knox

Due to foul trouble in both halves, including picking up his 4th with 12 minutes remaining, Kevin Knox was limited today with his overall production. Through much of the season, the Wildcats’ success has hinged on whether or not Knox has contributed on the offensive end.

Although Knox only had 11 points and 2 rebounds in the game, Kentucky still managed to put points on the board and win in convincing fashion. If you had asked me before the game how much he would have to score for Kentucky to win, any answer I provided would have been more than 11.

Wenyen Gabriel was infuego

With Jarred Vanderbilt sidelined due to injury and Knox on the bench with foul trouble, Gabriel stepped up in a huge way. Hitting 7 for 7 from behind the 3 point line to tie a career high of 23 points. Making 7 three’s in a game without missing is a Kentucky record.

Gabriel has shot well off and on this season, but he showed up in a big way when Kentucky needed him the most. If Gabriel can continue to hit from the outside, this team’s tournament potential takes a few huge steps forward.

This is the PJ Washington we need, and the one we deserve

Everyone expected Washington to be a monster out of the gate after his strong performances with USA Basketball last summer. It has taken some time, but he seems like he has finally realized that he is unstoppable when he is aggressive.

Someone with the combination of strength and quickness that Washington possesses is a guy that college basketball players are not prepared to defend. He finished the game with 14 points and 7 rebounds.

Sacha Killeya-Jones!

John Calipari has been clear that somebody needs to step up in the absence of Jarred Vanderbilt, and that somebody was Sacha Killeya-Jones today. (I know Wenyen Gabriel had a monster game, but more is expected of him.)

SKJ has several huge plays for the Wildcats on both ends, and he did a lot of good work on the defensive end that you will not see on a stat sheet. He finished the game with 5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal. If he come close to that in the next few weeks, it will help the Cats out a great deal.

Now, let’s celebrate the win!