Ashton Hagans didn’t get the start tonight after bruising his thigh Tuesday night in Baton Rouge. It’s the first time in 55 straight games that Hagans hasn’t started. He did play, however, despite Johnny Juzang getting the second start of his career. He was a bit rusty, but it was good news to see Hagans play, nonetheless.
Tyrese Maxey was excellent in an all-around kind of way tonight. He scored when he needed to—mainly by attacking the basket—and he passed, defended, and rebounded extremely well. It was a really good performance that put him on triple-double watch.
Besides Quickley, who we’ll get to, and Maxey, it was a solid team win against the Gators. Nobody really exceeded expectations, but Florida has been hot of late and finally was playing up to preseason expectations in the couple of weeks. The Cats never backed down, though.
Kentucky once again answered the bell—for the second straight game against one of the most efficient offenses in the conference.
The Cats remain two games up in the SEC with the big-time win. Now, it’s time to win out.
Next up, Kentucky will travel to College Station to take on Buzz Williams and the Texas A&M Aggies on Tuesday night.
Maxey put together a great all-around performance, but the MVP goes to Immanuel Quickley. He was terrific.
Quickley was unstoppable on the offensive end tonight. Despite Kentucky falling down by seven early in the second half, that didn’t stop IQ from heating up and taking over on his way to three three-pointers in a row to give UK a nice lead.
He also defended well, as usual, locking up whoever he needed to.
Quickley has become an elite scorer in his second season in Lexington. Sometimes, he can be a bit inefficient and he’ll force it. But when he gets it going, he’s hard to stop.
That’s what happened tonight. Despite a 1-6 start, Quickley got hot and never looked back, finishing with 26 points, two rebounds, and three steals. He shot 8-17 from the floor (7-11 after the slow start), as well as 4-6 from three, and 6-6 from the line to clinch the game...and the spread.
He’s the fifth player to score at least 25 points in a game this season for the Cats—exactly what John Calipari was just preaching about the other day.
What a great game once again for one of Kentucky’s two First Team All-SEC players.