The Kentucky Wildcats put on an absolute clinic yesterday afternoon as they took the Auburn Tigers to the woodshed and won 80-53.
The main story going into the game was the absence of Reid Travis. EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards combined for 10 points, 10 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 3 steals in an effort to replace Travis’ production. I think that’ll do.
PJ Washington continued his dominance as he once again eclipsed 20 points. He went 5-6 from beyond the arch. Ashton Hagans broke out of his offensive funk with 14 points and a number of long range shots that looked as pure as anything we’ve seen from him this season.
In one of the more surprising efforts of the day, Keldon Johnson pulled down 17(!) rebounds. Tyler Herro did his thing scoring while Immanuel Quickley and Jemarl Baker both added quality minutes off of the bench.
It was a total team effort and if this is the Kentucky team that we are going to get in March they have as good of a chance as any team in the country to win a national title.
Tweets of the Day
Bruce Pearl calls PJ Washington "National Player of the Year candidate WITHOUT QUESTION." Says he's big and physical enough to dominate rugged guys inside, skilled enough to burn perimeter players outside. And he knew Washington from high school, "so I've seen this."— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) February 23, 2019
He won’t win it because of Zion Williamson but he deserves to be a candidate. And I think he wrapped up SEC Player of the Year yesterday and I also think he will be an All American.
Wins over Kenpom Top 25 teams:— Brian Evans (@KSRBEvans) February 23, 2019
Michigan State 3
Kentucky’s resume is as good or better than any team in the country.
Blessed to receive an offer from Kentucky ‼️ pic.twitter.com/RxFts5pbCp— Brandon Boston Jr (@bboston_) February 23, 2019
The five star shooting guard is ranked ninth in the country in the 2020 class according to 24/7 and he was on an unofficial visit to UK yesterday. I’d say he enjoyed his trip.
Tyler Herro loses his man on the stepback midrange. pic.twitter.com/ZqRqQLjmFt— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) February 23, 2019
That’s an elite move by Herro.
Cats have the right stuff for March | Lexington Herald Leader- Everyone contributed in what may be the best all around performance of the year for Kentucky. This team has come a long way since that November meeting with Duke.
Cats moved to a one seed but at a cost | Cats Pause- While Kentucky has played itself into the one seed line it may have come at a cost. Going into yesterday the Cats were projected as a two seed in the South Region where they would play in the KFC Yum! Center in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. With the one seed, the Cats would be placed in the Midwest Region in Kansas City. Not a terrible drive for Kentucky fans but it won’t be the home game atmosphere they would get in Louisville.
Who’s playing better than PJ Washington? | WDRB- Rick Bozich from WDRB thinks PJ is the best player in the country right now and it’s hard to argue. John Calipari talked about Washington’s decision to return and how it’s made him some big time money.
LSU takes down Tennessee amid more controversy | CBS- If the Vols would have won then the Cats would have headed to Knoxville Saturday with the regular season conference title on the line. Yet Grant Williams fouled in OT and gave the Tigers a chance to win and they took it.
Senior Day for UK Hoops | UK Athletics- This class of seniors, which includes Maci Morris, has been through a great deal during their time at UK. They saw their team implode and stuck around to be part of a resurgence this season. They’ll play LSU in their final home game of their careers.
ESPN Power Rankings | ESPN- The Cats are sitting at number four and that’s right about where they should be.
John Calipari highlighted in Winner and Losers | CBS- With the blowout over Auburn yesterday John Calipari moved to number two on the list of all time wins at Kentucky, overtaking Joe B. Hall. Mitch Barnhart made his best hire when he got Cal.
Louisville blows another lead | WDRB- The Cards had number three Virginia down by 12 in the second half and they ended up losing by 10. That’s four losses in the last five games for UofL and one has to wonder if they can win one of their last three with the way they’re playing. Woof.