Bad News for UK Haters
What we learned from Kentucky's first exhibition against Ottawa
Basketball season is back, folks!
Your Kentucky Wildcats took the floor against
first game of the season tonight and put on an excellent performance, winning
the game 117-58. Deeper than the score, let's dive into some of the
aspects we learned about this brand new Ottawa
These boys are hungry
If we saw one thing out of these kids tonight, it is that these Wildcats play with energy, unselfishness and effort. They've shown a will to learn and a hunger to become better. Most kids come into
with a set of skills that they use effectively. These kids seem to be
different; they allow Cal to work on them and
learn to play ways that Cal
knows will help them win basketball games.
is well deserving of #23
You can remember at the UK-UNC alumni game, Anthony Davis went over to John Calipari and said, "you let him have 23?!?!" about Jamal Murray.
responded with, "your number ain't retired yet! I hope he's better than
you so we can retire his instead of yours." Now, is anybody ever going to
be as good as Anthony
Davis was at Kentucky?
Likely not, but Jamal Murray looked excellent tonight. Tallying up 17 points, 7
rebounds, and 6 assists at halftime, Murray
finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists for a near triple double.
looking rather spry
Over the years, it's been noticeable how much the stress of leading
can have on a person. Lately, we've seen Cal growing gray hair, showing those aging
aspects. Today, he looked a little different. A full head of black Italian
hair, a lot of energy, turning the clock back a little bit, probably because
this is the most fun he's ever had with a basketball team. Cal has guys that play to the same style he
loves for really the first time in his career. Cal always preaches for his kids to have
fun; it's nice to see the ol' coach having a little fun himself.
The guards will get to the rim
Coach Calipari loves for his players to get to the rim, especially his backcourt players. Over the years,
Cal has had mostly guards that do work
outside of the paint. Not this group of kids; Tyler Ulis,
Isaiah Briscoe and Jamal Murray love attacking the rim and are so
good when they get there. With 66 points in the paint, 26 fast break points and
32 assists tonight, this has the looking of a team that is absolutely perfect
for Calipari's scheme. That is scary to think about.
Alex still isn't all the way back
As we thought would be the case, senior forward Alex Poythress clearly isn't all the way back from his ACL rehab. Anytime you're dealing with a ligament tear, it's going to be a long road to recovery, and while Poythress showed flashes of his beastly self, it was clear he's not all the way back yet.
That's also why junior Marcus Lee got the start at the 4 spot over Poythress. It may end being where Poythress coming off the bench as the sixth man is best for this team, and as long as Poythress gets back to 100%, this will be a true championship contender.
Different team, same fundamentals
A lot of new faces are coming into
this year, but tonight's game made it appear evident that it's going to be a
lot of the same fundamentals as it always is in Lexington moving forward. Kentucky's going to
play stout defense, garnering 9 blocks, 10 steals and holding the opponent to
26%FG shooting. They're going to throw lobs and slam them as Marcus
Lee and Skal Labissiere did numerous times tonight. They're also going to
stretch it behind the three point line, going 12-22 from range today
with Tyler and Murray making 4 each. The bench is going to deep as well, just
like last year; the bench unit provided 39 points today.
Overall, a great first performance by your Kentucky Wildcats. This team looks like it's going to be very good in hopes for our ninth national title.
Wildcats Basketball No. 1 in Preseason Top 25 Poll
The Kentucky Wildcats will likely once again have one of the best teams in college basketball when the upcoming season begins.
While the 2015-16 season doesn't open for another two months,
is already having high expectations placed upon them with top-five rankings in
just about every preseason poll you'll find. That's the case with Athlon
Sports, who have the Cats No. 1 in their preseason top 25:
The Wildcats might not challenge 40-0 again, but Tyler Ulis, Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray should contend for the Final Four.
Here is the entire Athlon Sports 2015-16 College Basketball Preseason Top 25: