It was a pretty ‘meh’ game for Kentucky as the offense struggled heavily in the second half and the defense could not seem to contain the three point shooting, as Vandy hit nine threes this game.
However, Tyrese Maxey quietly led the Cats in scoring with 17 and Nick Richards had 15 points and 11 boards, all coming in the second half. The team goes as Nick Richards goes.
As much as the game was bad, it was a typical trap-game for Kentucky sandwiched between Texas Tech and Auburn, but they pulled it out.
Now we have Gameday at Auburn on Saturday.
Here’s what social media had to say:
A good look at UK’s warmup shirts tonight — Kobe’s logo on the front, numbers on the back. pic.twitter.com/NgvOfETmze— Jeremy Chisenhall (@JSChisenhall) January 29, 2020
I’m at Rupp Arena for @ASeaOfBlue, where @H23Ash, @IQ_GodSon, @TyreseMaxey and several other Wildcats are honoring Kobe Bryant with their sneakers tonight.— Jeremy Chisenhall (@JSChisenhall) January 29, 2020
Cats and Commodores tipping off in less than an hour. pic.twitter.com/FuaJ8lVeAa
Tyrese Maxey had himself a game tonight.— Things #BBN Likes (@ThingsBBNLikes) January 30, 2020
17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists. pic.twitter.com/RxuIWZ5NYv
First half: Nick Richards barely plays, doesn’t score, Kentucky outscored by 7.— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) January 30, 2020
Second half: Nick Richards plays a ton, has 15 points & 11 boards, Kentucky outscores Vandy by 16.
I’m not saying he’s the most important player in college basketball, but... he is.
Story of this game:— Jason Ence (@jasonuk17) January 30, 2020
Vanderbilt led 47-39 with 13:54 to go.
Kentucky held them to 3 of 16 shooting after that point
UK Postgame on @ESPN680 is live with me and @TBrown_80 right now! 502-267-9680. iHeart and TuneIn apps! Let's go!
Really important for @TyreseMaxey to gain some confidence for @KentuckyMBB Biggest issues vs @AuburnMBB will be keeping the ball in front defensively. @VandyMBB spread them out and drove them off ball scenes and close outs.— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) January 30, 2020
Nick Richards is such a bad dude now— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 30, 2020
Nick Richards— Not Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton2) January 30, 2020
15 pts (7-11 FG)
(All in the 2nd half)
11 rebs pic.twitter.com/TDV5aOcMcB
Vanderbilt entered tonight's game at Rupp Arena on a 26-game losing streak in SEC play.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 30, 2020
It then controlled the game against Kentucky for 30 minutes before losing by a close margin.
Nope. Just College Basketball.#BBN
This team goes as Nick Richards goes. Seeing Tyrese Maxey make plays in the second half after being a liability earlier sure feels good though.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) January 30, 2020
It remains to be seen how highly Nick Richards will be viewed amongst all of the Cats in the Cal era, but he's quickly becoming one of the most important. This team would be in a scary bad place without him.— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) January 30, 2020
I really think if the voting happened today, Nick Richards would be the SEC Player of the Year. Look at these last nine games and try to imagine yourself believing them possible his freshman and sophomore seasons. pic.twitter.com/HaaLr8bFKM— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 30, 2020
Kentucky outrebounded Vandy 37-29. Cats undefeated when out rebounding opponents.— John Huang (@KYHuangs) January 30, 2020
Jerry Stackhouse on Nick Richards being an NBA talent: "Absolutely, I think he has all the tools. He's still working on his game, but you can see how much he's improved. ... The best Nick Richards you see isn't going to be at Kentucky, it's going to be at the next level."— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) January 30, 2020
Calipari says finally a couple days ago, Tyrese Maxey went at Ashton Hagans in practice the way Hagans often "demoralizes" others by attacking. Encouraging.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 30, 2020
"He's good right now, but he's not even touched where he's going to be in another month ... if he stays on this path."
Other than a weak call on a charge against Hagans and that silliness on the foul called during a free throw, not too many complaints here... https://t.co/bi7qfIj0ap— Big Blue Insider (@bigblueinsider1) January 30, 2020
I can't believe us Kentucky fans thank God every night this season for Nick Richards. What a development— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) January 30, 2020
Final Score:— Oscar Combs (@wildcatnews) January 30, 2020
UK beefs it up second half with Nick Richards & Tyrese Maxey leading the way. Fortunate this game at Rupp.
Next up: UK travels to Auburn Sat. Winner becomes chief challenger to LSU at we near the halfway point of SEC race. It’ll be a war.