October 28, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
Kentucky Wildcats: 2015 Blue-White Game Takeaways
Here are some notable player observations from sitting court side at last night’s Blue-White Scrimmage for the 2015-2016 Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team. Also enjoy some of Analyzed Sports best shots from the game.
Jamal Murray: Murray played for both the Blue and White Squads. Stat Line: 17 points on 5 of 13 shooting, 4 rebounds, 6 assists versus 2 Turnovers. Swagger comes to mind when describing his game. Although he reclassified to the Class of 2015, Jamal plays with the confidence of a junior or senior. Murray can finish around the rim with either hand, also has a sweet outside shot, and can post up as a big guard against smaller opponents. He’s a gamer too. You want Murray shooting free-throws in the end of close game situations, because he will not be afraid to make them with the game on the line. Needs to work on not dribbling too much and giving the ball up sooner in the dribble drive if the play is not available for him. Whoever left this kid off the All-SEC team made a huge mistake.
Tyler Ulis: Coach Calipari stated a few weeks ago that Ulis might be the best floor general he’s ever coached. After watching the 5’9 Sophomore guard drop 15 dimes while only committing three turnovers you can see why Coach Cal is excited about his lead guard for the upcoming season. Ulis didn’t shoot the ball particularly well from three going 0-4, but all of those shots were basically in and out. He finished the game with 10 points on 5-13 shooting. This is clearly Tyler Ulis’s team by the way he commanded the ball, put guys in the right areas, and was one of a few players that communicated on the floor. Ulis wasn’t afraid to attack the rim among the trees and had some exceptional layups over the taller defenders. He will be a key piece in Kentucky getting back to the Final Four this season.
Alex Poythress: – Alex did some things well last night, but he’s still doesn’t trust his knee fully. He will get there in due time. He showed flashes of his freshman season when he shot over 40% from three. In the Blue-White Scrimmage Alex seemed to find his touch from deep going 3-4 from three, while finishing the game with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Coach Calipari stated in the post game he doesn’t care how well he shoots it from three if he’s not going in there and rebounding. Poythress had a quiet 17, but as he continues to make strides in his confidence with the knee, expect a major comeback and big year from Cal’s only senior.
Marcus Lee: – Lee ran the floor extremely well last night and was most productive on the offensive end when paired with White team’s Tyler Ulis. Marcus had 8 points strictly off of running the floor while being found for strong finishes in the lane . Lee finished the game with 10 points 10 rebounds and led everyone with the most offensive rebounds with 4. Lee will contribute this season with his high energy and high flying act. He showed some good low post moves and wasn’t afraid to take the 12-15 ft jump shot. Looks like he could have a strong junior season. Must find a way to stay consistent.
Isaiah Briscoe: Once his shoulders are squared with the rim and he makes his mind up to get to the basket, it’s hard for anyone to defend him. Stat line: 14 points on 7-11 shooting, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 turnover. Briscoe, Ulis, and Murray combined for an impressive 26 assists versus 6 turnovers. That will win some ball games, especially during tournament play. Briscoe appears to be a little shaky from the free-throw line going 1 for 6. He also needs to work out that Chuck Hayes hitch on his shot when shooting from the charity stripe. Coach Calipari may need to sit him at end of games because of his free-throw shooting. It’s still early though, so he has plenty of time to get in the gym to get better at it. Overall was impressed with his game.
Charles Matthews: Matthews was one of the four players that surprised me in the Blue-White scrimmage last night. The other players being Derek Willis, Mychal Mulder, and Isaac Humphries. More on them later. Matthews is a do everything wing player who can play multiple positions. Dude can fly, defend, shoot, and rebound. He defended with pride majority of the night, but offensively finished with 17 points on 7-11 shooting and pulled down 6 rebounds. Has nice elevation on his jump-shot, a good feel for the game, and he plays above the rim. I do not see how Coach Calipari keeps this kid off the floor. In my humble opinion, Matthews is a starter even if Cal brings him off the bench. I would start him at the three. He was shaky from the Free Throw line too going 2-7. Just needs game experience and minutes to reach his full potential. One of my favorites from the game last night.
Issac Humphries: 17 years old with skills as a 7 footer. Humphries knows how to use his body well defensively and offensively. Force Skal into some tough shots and out of his sweet spot by using his body and fighting for position on the floor. Issac truly looks like a high-school player at the collegiate level, but he did his thing and held his own. With his back to the basket he has the skills to get off a beautiful jump-hook that will be hard for anyone to defend, and he’s a 2-3 zone killer with the sweet touch facing the basket from 15 foot. Needs to work on getting stronger and taking care of the ball, but overall did some things well. Finished the game with 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 Blocks. It’s going to be fun watching him developed over the next two years under Cal. He’s not a project, this 7 footer has some talent.E.J. Floreal: Played 25 minutes for both teams combined. Finished with 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Keep working and making the team better E.J.
Dominique Hawkins: Did not play, could be out a few more weeks Per Cal, with a broken hand.
Derek Willis: During the scrimmage a reporter turned around and said to me that Derek Willis was crazy for going to Kentucky, because he saw the kid play in high-school and felt he could of been playing major minutes anywhere else in the country. I understood his point, but I disagree respectfully. Just because you go to a crappy team and average or play more minutes doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a developed and mature player to handle those minutes played. Willis has played behind some awesome talent over the years, which only makes you better playing with the best, and he has the chance in his junior year to have a significant role as an upperclassmen on one of the youngest teams in the nation. During the Blue-While Scrimmage Willis proved why he will have that chance to have a major role with this team. Every shot that leaves Derek’s fingertips looks like its going in. He finished the game with 14 points on 6-9 shooting and was 50% from three. I’m making a prediction that this will be his breakout year. Willis looks more confident and was one of the best players on the floor last night. Just shoot the ball when deep in the shot clock to avoid shot clock violations. That’s really all I seen wrong with his game last night.
Skal Labissiere: – Skilled Big man that plays so effortlessly. Has a soft touch around the rim, but needs to get stronger to keep from getting pushed off the block. Lobs will be a dime of dozen with his wing span and athleticism at the five spot. Skal will have a chance to block some shots too as he finished the scrimmage with a team high 3 blocks. Skal is a double/double waiting to happen. He finished the game with 18 points on 8-13 shooting, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks and 1 steal. He has the perfect form and arch on his shot when facing the basket, but it’s imperative that he work on his lower body strength if he wants to stay in his sweet spots on the floor. Love his game, but I wonder what type of lineup would Calipari goto if Labissiere gets into any foul trouble.
Mychal Mulder: Nice Pick up from the Juco Level. He has the potential to be a D-1 sniper. 90% of the shots that left his hand look like they were going in. He only finished 3-10 for 30% from behind the arch, but he could of easily been 5 of 10 for 50%. He didn’t seem rattled playing in front of the big crowd and he looked like he belonged on the court with the other D-1 athletes. Mulder will get wide open three opportunities if anyone has to double down in the post on Skal. Mychal has the ability to knock down open shots, and could be thrown into specific game situations whenever a team has to go to zone. He’s the zone buster.
Overall Team First Impressions: This will be the first team in Calipari’s tenure as the UK coach, he has a chance to run the dribble drive offense. This team is a fast team and finesse team that will have opportunities to get easy scores in the open court or easy scores at the rim facing a half-court defense. The question with this team is, what kind of identity will they have on defense? Will they be a man to man defense, zone defense, or pressing defense? This team should press to keep the tempo at a fast pace the entire game. This team could get pushed around a lot against bigger teams, but it will depend on the heart and fight of this team that will determine how good they really can be. If they take good shots against the half-court, this young UK Wildcat team can be a good shooting team as well. If this team can make it hard for teams to defend the dribble drive and force them into a zone, Check Mate. I believe this will go down as one of Calipari’s best team against any zone, because of the two skilled big man that can shoot the 15 footer consistently along with great guards that can knock down some shots from the outside. Only time will tell .. What you think Big Blue Nation?
Blue-White Game Highlights: – Courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV.
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