Andre’ Chapman | Analyzed Sports
Falling behind by double-digits in games finally caught up to the young Kentucky Wildcats (17-6, 6-4) Saturday afternoon in Columbia, Missouri. The No. 21 Wildcats trailed by 10 at the half and end up suffering a 69-60 defeat to the Missouri Tigers for the first time in the program’s history. Here are some key observations I noticed the Cats must get better at if they expect to advance out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament next month.
PASS THE BALL
9 assists for the game will not be good enough to advance to the 2nd weekend in March in my opinion. This is the second straight game the Cats failed to reach double-digits in assists. I can’t understand why this team doesn’t want to share the basketball. Too much hero ball challenged shots at the rim and one on one going on with this team at this stage of the season. They must turn it around over these next eight games or expect an early out in the NCAA Tournament.
Kevin Knox WAS A NON FACTOR
2 of 6 from the field and 0-3 from three for 5 points in 25 minutes. Kevin must stay aggressive in all aspects of the game even when his shot is not falling from three-point range. Knox needs another year to mature as a player in this aspect. Disappearing in games as one of the go-to players on this young team will spell trouble for the NCAA come March.
Kentucky can’t shoot
2 of 20 from three for 10% is horrible from behind the arch. Believe it or not, even with that horrific stat line Kentucky was still in the game. Kentucky doesn’t take many threes as an average on the season, but they need to hit at least 6 threes at a decent percentage in a game to keep from coming home early during March Madness.
Hami Diallo is a GUN.
PASS THE BALL HAMI. Although Hami plays with great energy, often he’s out of control. To be a next level player, his jump shot must get better from the outside and he has to learn to quit dribbling into to traffic and forcing bad shots over seventeen defenders. Hami, pull up for the runner/floater or look for the open man once you get to the middle of the lane.
ZERO Fast Break Points
A team that struggles in the half-court must get some easy opportunities in the open court. Hey Coach Calipari, this team must press for steals to create some chances for easy baskets. There is enough depth on this team and they’re young, so why not go all out.
Jarred Vanderbilt’s Overall Performance
Jarred needs to slow down on offense and trust his abilities he’s been playing with all his life to gain confidence on the offensive side of the ball. In 16 minutes of play the kid pull down 10 rebounds and had 8 points. Once he puts it all together on both ends of the floor and averages more minutes, I can see a 15 point 15 rebound game in the near future.
There’s no need to panic with this team or give up on them because Calipari always has his teams ready for a March run on average. However, if they don’t get better at the points I mentioned above, I can’t see this team in a Sweet 16 game this year. Thoughts?
REMAINING REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
|Tue, Feb 6||vs (18) Tennessee||7:00 PM ET||ESPN|
|Sat, Feb 10||@ Texas A&M||8:00 PM ET||ESPN|
|Wed, Feb 14||@ (11) Auburn||9:00 PM ET||ESPN2|
|Sat, Feb 17||vs Alabama||2:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Tue, Feb 20||@ Arkansas||9:00 PM ET|
|Sat, Feb 24||vs Missouri||TBD|
|Wed, Feb 28||vs Ole Miss||7:00 PM ET||ESPN2|
|Sat, Mar 3||@ (23) Florida||12:00 PM ET||CBS|