The Kentucky Wildcats went into a hostile environment against the most talented player in college basketball, struggled mightily from the free throw line, and somehow found a way to claw themselves to a 78-69 victory.
Many different players stepped up throughout the game. Nick Richards was dominant when on the floor, scoring 17 points and pulling down 7 rebounds in just 25 minutes. Tyrese Maxey took the ball to the rack at will and put up 17 points of his own to go with 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
This was a very good win for the Wildcats given that this was their first road test and Georgia played with a lot of energy throughout the game. However, the fight that Kentucky showed was exactly what John Calipari has been looking for from this group.
I wrote on Saturday that Kentucky needs Tyrese Maxey to be great, and that he is at his best when driving the basketball. He did just that tonight and led the Wildcats in assists, blocks (!), and tied for the lead in points to earn game MVP honors.
Going back and forth with potential No. 1 NBA Draft pick Anthony Edwards has to benefit Maxey when the NBA Draft rolls around in June. He almost matched Georgia’s star bucket for bucket, and he did so in beautiful fashion.
Oooooooweeeeeee.— Not Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton2) January 8, 2020
Mr. Tyrese Maxey pic.twitter.com/F8STSL1Tmu
This was the Tyrese Maxey that Kentucky needs night in and night out. Pair him with everything Nick Richards has been doing lately and the consistency of Hagans and Quickley, and you’ve got yourself a bona fide NCAA Tournament team.