Man, that was fun.
After a huge week, it was very possible the Cats would come out flat and put up a dud. But that wasn’t the case. Quite the opposite actually.
Kentucky came out ready to play. They went into halftime with a big 45-15 lead, behind 18 points and 10 rebounds from PJ Washington. Not only that, Keldon Johnson and Reid Travis combined for...zero points. And the Cats were still dominating at the break.
It was a great all-around performance. Pretty much everyone played well. Kentucky was hitting on all cylinders on offense, and they shut it down on defense.
Hagans was good, again. He scored efficiently, showing his improved range. He knocked down a three-pointer and a long two. He also continued to distribute the ball well.
As noted above, Johnson was slow out of the gate, but he played better in the second half. Tyler Herro struggled to hit jump shots, but he continues to show that he’s more than just a shooter. He played excellent defense and drove to the basket at will.
Nick Richards played great. EJ Montgomery and Immanuel Quickley played well off the bench, as well. And Jemarl Baker knocked down two three-pointers on as many tries.
It was an awesome performance. Vandy started hitting threes in the second half, but the defense was the best it’s been all year.
These Cats continue to get better and better. They’re making a statement to the rest of the country right now.
Fun Fact: Under John Calipari, Kentucky had never beaten Vanderbilt by double digits at Memorial Coliseum...until tonight.
Next up is the Florida Gators, as Kentucky travels to the Swamp on Saturday afternoon.
This was an easy one. PJ Washington was awesome tonight. After not scoring 20 points in consecutive games throughout his first season and a half, Washington now has done it three games in a row.
The PJ Washington we all expected is here, and he may be here to stay. There’s been something different about him these last few games. He seems focused and ready to play each time out.
Tonight, he did a little bit of everything. He posted his second double-double in a row, scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He shot 9-15 from the field, including 3-3 from three and 5-6 from the free throw line. He also added three steals.
What a performance by PJ, and what a statement by this team. Go Cats!