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Risers and faller from Kentucky’s blowout win vs. North Carolina

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Who’s hot after Kentucky stomps the Tar Heels?

CBS Sports Classic - Kentucky v North Carolina Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats got a big win in dominating fashion last night against the North Carolina Tar Heels, 98-69. Kentucky led for most of the game thanks to an early spurt from Sahvir Wheeler, who set the tone for the Wildcats.

Sahvir Wheeler - Riser

Speaking of Sahvir Wheeler, he comes in as our first riser of the day. Last week against Notre Dame, Wheeler had 3 points and was not performing at a high level. He heard the criticism, torching the Tar Heels for 26 points and eight assists. This is the Sahvir Wheeler Kentucky must have to reach its full potential. This game gave us a glimpse of what that potential looks like.

Kellan Grady - Riser

Kellan Grady finally hit the three-ball when Kentucky needed it most. KG hit five threes and had 15 points for the Wildcats. It was a game that fans had been wanting to see from Grady, who had only hit 22 threes in nine games played for Kentucky this season. If Grady can two, to three, from behind the arc consistently, Kentucky could be dangerous.

Daimion Collins - Faller

Daimion Collins didn’t get much playing time in the game against UNC, but he did provide some spark earlier in the first half when he saw the court. He dove for a loose ball and saved a ball from going out of bounds. Unfortunately, Collins’ playing time has been greatly diminished in the past two games. It seems like Calipari has found his guys, and Collins may be left out. However, he clearly has loads of potential, and if he can learn to harness it, expect Collins’ role to grow as the season wears on.

Jacob Toppin - Riser

Jacob Toppin played a fantastic game, posting 7 points, 5 boards, and 3 assists in his role off the bench. When Tshiebwe was out with three fouls, Toppin, along with Lance Ware, helped spell some of the size disadvantage that Kentucky was in. If Toppin can give those types of minutes for Kentucky, this team can reach their potential.

Lance Ware - Riser

When Oscar Tshiebwe went out with two fouls in the first half, Lance Ware came off the bench and stepped up in a big way to hold down the paint. He played a season-high 13 minutes, drew a key second foul on Armando Bacot, the only Tar Heel who did any real damage Saturday, and had a monster block. Ware being able to come in and consistently give Kentucky 10-15 minutes a game when Oscar is in foul trouble would be huge for this frontcourt.

Oscar Tshiebwe - Riser

Oscar Tshiebwe stays rising this season. He has been John Calipari’s most consistent player this season, and he kept that up against the Tar Heels. Tshiebwe put up 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, good enough for his eighth double-double of the season.

And gave us one memorable celebration:

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