The Kentucky Wildcats traveled to Tuscaloosa on Saturday for their biggest opportunity of 2021. Beating a top 10 team on the road could have been a huge boost to the resume.
However, despite a valiant effort the Wildcats could not score enough points to pull of the upset and they feel 70-59 on the road. For the first time in over 30 years, the Crimson Tide has beaten Kentucky twice during the same regular season.
The Cats were led in scoring by Davion Mintz, Dontaie Allen, and Olivier Sarr with 12 points each. Despite a poor shooting effort, Kentucky defended very well throughout the game and won the rebounding battle. But it proved to not be enough as Kentucky continued to struggle on the offensive end.
Here is what you need to know from today’s game.
Alabama came into Saturday’s game averaging 81.8 points per game, good for the 24th highest average in the country. But Kentucky’s impressive defensive effort held this team to 70 points on 39.2% shooting from the floor and 30% from behind the three-point line.
Kentucky’s defense has been impressive often this season, while the offense has lagged behind mightily. If the offense could ever catch up to this defense in both effort and execution, Kentucky would be hard to beat, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening anytime soon with this group.
BJ Boston Injury
Less than two minutes into Saturday’s game, BJ Boston was rolling on the floor in pain. He had turned his ankle and, despite his back-to-back impressive games, it looked like he would not be able to make a difference in the game.
Boston would ultimately return to the game, but he did not exactly look like he was at 100%. After two straight good outings vs. Georgia and LSU, he finished this game with eight points on 2/9 shooting.
With Terrence Clarke on the sideline with an ankle injury, it is a major concern that Boston may now miss some time or at the very least be limited as well. With ankle injuries, the worst pain often comes after the joint has cooled off from activity. Stay tuned to A Sea of Blue for updates on Boston’s status.
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers
Turnovers have ultimately been the downfall of this Kentucky offense throughout the season. Saturday’s game was no different. The Wildcats turned the ball over 17 times in Tuscaloosa with only 11 assists. While that is certainly not their worst performance of the season, it is not good enough to defeat a top 10 team on the road.
When asking constantly about consistently recruiting a one-and-done roster, John Calipari says he will choose talent over experience every time.
But do you know what comes with experience? Discipline. That is exactly what this team lacks and why they have struggled to win games throughout the season.
The Wildcats will return to the court Saturday in Lexington against the No. 5 Texas Longhorns. But for now, let’s talk about today’s game.