The Cats didn’t get off to the best of starts as the raucous sellout crowd at A&M clearly made it difficult to adjust. Turnovers and bad shooting resulted in a 35-30 lead for the Aggies at the break.
After half, Kentucky still couldn’t get it going offensively. The defense tightened up, but the Aggie pressure forced UK to play out of control and sloppy.
But guess what? In the end, Kentucky pulled out a big road win!
Next up, the Cats will travel to Auburn to take on the No. 2 ranked Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
Cold shooting night
Well, Kentucky has a good offensive team, but you had to expect a bit of disappointment after that Volunteer thrashing on Saturday, right? Yeah, it doesn’t make me feel any better, either, but it is what is. Cats just aren’t the same team on the road. They’ve proved it time and time again.
Scoring droughts have hurt this team multiple times this year, including in losses at Notre Dame and LSU, and a win at Vanderbilt. What do those games have in common? You guessed it—they were on the road.
Kellan Grady started 0-5 from deep. Keion Brooks took the most shots for UK in the first half—always a bad sign. TyTy Washington and Davion Mintz struggled to get things going.
Kentucky couldn’t hit threes. They struggled from the line at times. It was ugly all around, and it surely wasn’t fun to watch, but they pulled it out.
Early foul trouble influenced the game
As mentioned above, Washington struggled to score, but on top of that, he picked up two fouls just five minutes into the game, which didn’t help. Oscar Tshiebwe picked up one early foul and Daimion Collins inexplicably played 11 first half minutes despite picking up his second foul in just 5 minutes of play.
As discussed below, Wheeler had some issues, but because of Washington’s foul trouble, UK had no alternative. This game was a lot similar to the LSU game, albeit against a lesser opponent with no injuries, but the game certainly gave off déjà vu vibes.
Wheeler was a turnover machine
Sahvir Wheeler scored the ball well, but, man, that A&M pressure made him look bad in this one. I can’t fault him too much because he did do a lot for the team, and like I said, Washington was in foul trouble early, but they trapped Wheeler all night, and he kept giving the ball up.
Wheeler was known as turnover prone before he got to UK, but he’d really been good at taking care of the ball so far this season, This game is probably an anomaly, but that doesn’t exactly make the BBN feel any better about this performance.
Beat off the bounce all night
Kentucky hasn’t exactly been a pinnacle of excellence on defense this season, but it was pretty poor in this one. A&M is known as a three-point shooting team, yet they beat UK off the bounce all night long.
Tshiebwe is a decent defender at the rim, but he’s no Anthony Davis, Karl Towns, or Nerlens Noel. That means UK has to have good defense on the perimeter, especially when they’re struggling to score, but it was nonexistent in this one.
Man, it was ugly, but it didn’t matter. The Cats got a huge win on the road against a team that should be ranked. Go Cats!