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Kentucky takes down UAB: 4 things to know and postgame banter

Solid win with a lot to be proud of and a lot to learn from.

EJ Montgomery Jamie Boggs - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats continued to show improvements in a 69-58 win over UAB on Friday. John Calipari’s team now moves into a very important stretch of the season where games are spread out and practice time is abundant.

Several players stepped up in the absence of injured Nate Sestina, both on the glass and by scoring in the paint. The Cats also seemed to find their flow offensively, racking up 19 assists on 26 made field goals for the game. While there is still a great deal of room for improvement, the young Kentucky Wildcats continue to make strides in the right direction.

EJ Montgomery looks good

There is not really a better way to put it. EJ Montgomery finally looked like a college basketball player. He attacked the boards, looked comfortable on both ends of the court, and hit some shots fans have been waiting for him to make.

While Nate Sestina is sidelined, Montgomery is going to have to pick up more minutes. I am sure the coaching staff hopes this extra experience will help speed up his development, and so far, so good.

Nick Richards is for real...for real.

Richards continues to look like a former McDonald’s All-American big man in a Kentucky uniform. He is making shots, defending the rim, hitting the class, and in many ways leading the team through this early stretch of the season.

Richards put up 16 points while shooting 100% from the field (7/7) to go with nine boards. If the guards finally start to figure this thing out and Richards continues to be a best (and learns how to avoid foul trouble), it is going to be a fun spring for Kentucky basketball.

We need more Sestina-Cam

Early in the second half, the SEC Network did a split screen where most of the screen was on the action on the court and the rest was on Nate Sestina. His reactions, both good and bad, where fantastic and very telling about how invested he is with his younger teammates. What do we have to get more Sestina-Cam over the next few weeks?

This team still lacks a killer instinct.

It felt like Kentucky led UAB by between 12 and 18 points the entire game. They built such a lead within the first 12 minutes or so, but never seemed to bust the game wide open the way you would expect them to.

For whatever reason, this team seems to get complacent once they get a big lead. That habit is certainly one that will come back to haunt them if it isn’t corrected. However, as the season rolls on and leaders emerge for the Cats, they have the talent to turn into a juggernaut in the SEC.