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Signs of Life in a New Year

There are some good things happening for these Wildcats as the second season is now underway.

Davion Mintz, Dontaie Allen UK Athletics

The Kentucky Wildcats are undefeated in the SEC !
The Kentucky Wildcats have not lost a game in 2021 !

You have to admit, that is a great way to start the year. The 2-6 Cats welcomed Vandy after a double-overtime win at Mississippi State just a few days before. It was nice to be back in Rupp and even nicer to be in the second season. The conference schedule is critical for the team if they are going to make it into the tournament season. This first week has been a good one for a team that has not been playing great but may be figuring out something that essential for any team – how to win.

There was a lot to take notice of in the up and down battle against Vanderbilt. The Kentucky team scored 77 points which is the most points they have put up in regulation play this season.

Olivier Sarr led all scorers with 24 points and seven rebounds. Once again, his presence in the middle, moving on the floor, and playing defense makes the Wildcats dangerous. The transfer is making an impact and emerging as a force to be reckoned with. Dontaie Allen continued to emerge as a scorer but also as a defender. Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball can energize the team at both ends of the floor.

Davion Mintz was strong and played well in the clutch. Lance Ware also is getting more minutes and is willing to mix it up inside with a lot of heart and hustle. Don’t be surprised to see increased playing time for him in the next few weeks. The Cats limited turnovers and found the range once again from the free throw line which mattered a great deal as the game wound down.

When you add the improving play of Devin Askew in running the offense we are starting to see a team gel together as we hoped they would earlier in the year.

The grueling conference schedule continues for the team Saturday with the Florida Gators lurking in the Swamp, waiting for the Cats to arrive. This weekend will be another important step forward as the Cats return to the site of what ended up being the highlight of last year’s basketball season.

Make no mistake, Florida has not forgotten how Kentucky came back and flexed their muscles in what ended up being the final game of the shortened season. The Gators are motivated and would like a bit of revenge. We all know that this is not the same Kentucky team from a year ago, but finding out if they are ready to go gator hunting will be another test for a team that is finally showing a will to win.

Sarr, Allen, Mintz, Askew and crew are about to go swamp stomping. Go Cats!