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Highlights, MVP and Twitter reactions from Wildcats’ fun win over Germany

Kentucky came out ready to play in their opening game at Globl Jam.

Adou Thiero Dylan Ballard - A Sea Of Blue

Despite it being shorter than normal, the wait to watch the Kentucky Wildcats after the NCAA Tournament’s conclusion always feels like an eternity.

However, thanks to Canada basketball once again hosting the GLOBL JAM event in Toronto, UK fans got a chance to see their new crop of players much sooner in early July.

The first of three guaranteed games for the Cats was a tough matchup with Germany on Wednesday afternoon, a squad that featured several Division I guys and an overall physically imposing presence.

It was immediately evident that DJ Wagner and company are planning to push the ball up and down the court at a furious pace.

Initially, I was impressed with how the Cats settled in early and didn’t ease into the game against much older opponents. Not even that, it was actually Kentucky’s young guns who looked calm, collected, and in control of the pace of the game.

UK would lead 39-36 at the halftime break, with Antonio Reeves leading all scorers with 13 points that included two makes from behind the arc.

It’s probably fair to mention that Cats’ frenetic pace could come at a cost. Kentucky posted 13 total turnovers today.

Finding a balance between putting constant pressure on the defense and taking care of the ball will be a challenge for John Calipari this season, but it wasn’t a major problem today.

Even after the game’s conclusion, I remain thoroughly impressed with how Kentucky controlled the game pretty much start-to-finish.

Germany cut the lead to six points late in the fourth quarter, but you never really got the sense that Kentucky’s plethora of guards was going to let this one slip away.

Cats win 81-73.

Tomorrow things will be taken up a notch in the Mattamy Athletic Center when Kentucky matches up with the host Canadian team for an 8 pm ET tip-off.

Box Score

Game MVP

I try to think outside of the box when it’s my task to choose the MVP from a Kentucky basketball game.

Tonight was a great example because I’m not going with the Cats’ leading scorer, Antonio Reeves, who effortlessly dropped 24 points in UK’s win over Germany, or Tre Mitchell, who added 20 more while shooting 4/6 from deep.

Instead, I’m going with Adou Thiero, who had his growth transformation and jaw-dropping athleticism on full display Wednesday afternoon in Toronto.

Several times there were plays made by Thiero that left the crowd in disbelief. His vertical leap has seemingly increased dramatically, along with his feel for the game.

Thiero would finish with nine points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks while committing just one turnover.

All summer, his father and others have boasted about his size and vertical leap increase — both were on full display Wednesday night.

Once a player thought to be in search of a role to play, we might want to l start looking at the sophomore as a key ingredient to Calipari’s recipe for this team.


Twitter Reactions

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