February 8, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
Observations from Kentucky vs. Florida
The Kentucky Wildcats (23-0) stayed perfect on the season after surviving a scare from it’s in conference rival Florida Gators (12-11) in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Saturday night. With College Game-Day in attendance and the rowdy Gatornation on hand, the No.1 ranked team in the country was still able to pull out a 68-61 victory to end the 5-0 losing streak to the Florida Gators. The win gives Kentucky its 2nd best start in school history with 23 straight wins. Below are some of my observations from the game.
Karl Anthony Towns Jr. was a beast last night: KAT finished with 19pts 8rebs, 3ast, and 2 block shots. Karl didn’t miss a free throw (7-7) and he was 60% from the field. He was an absolute monster down low. Coach Calipari was quoted after the game saying Towns played liked the player of the year. KAT’s game was impressive because he was assertive on the boards, and he didn’t disappear in the 2nd half like he normally does. He’s starting to take his game to the next level as he appears to be getting better by each game. He still needs to work on staying down on the ground and not falling for every pump fake, but it’s great to see the big guy improving this year.The Young Wildcats Stayed Poised: Although the crowd was literally right on top of the 5th youngest team in the nation, not one time did I see this young team lose its composure. The largest lead of the game was 20-11 Florida in the first half. With Andrew in foul trouble, Ulis, Booker, and KAT never seemed rattled by the atmosphere. It was good to see the new additions face some adversity on the road and still never waver from the game plan.Willie Cauley Stein is hurting and that dunk was NASTY! Last night as I watched WCS not being his usual self on defense, I said to the Television screen, “Willie this team needs you to step up to win this game” Maybe the very next play, UK gets a steal, Andrew attacks the middle of the lane and dishes the ball to a trailing WCS, who finishes with the most NASTIEST dunk I have witness all year. I immediately jump up from the couch and let out an OHHH! Not only was the dunk great, he made the free throw to finish the And 1, and it gave the team some much-needed momentum to pull out the tough road victory in the end. During the post game Willie talked with Mike Pratt about how he still doesn’t trust his hurting ankle to make certain cuts on defense, which is causing him to be a step slower.UK took Advantage at the Free-Throw Line: The team was a remarkable 21-22 from the Free-Throw line for 95.5%. Andrew Harrison was the only player to miss from the charity stripe last night going 1-2 causing the Wildcats to miss the 100% mark.Devin Booker found other ways to score: Devin didn’t get to reload the 3 gun against the Gators as he missed both of his attempts from the 3 point line. The positive from that is he didn’t just continue to jack up 3’s the entire game. He found other ways to score. He got behind the defense for some easy layups, he attacked the lane, and used his mid range game to score 12 pts on 6-11 shooting. Young students of the game here’s a little tidbit, don’t just rely on the three-point shot to dictate if you’re going to score the ball are not.Aaron Harrison won this game: March must be getting close, because Big Shot Aaron was making all the shots at key moments in the game to lead Kentucky to the W. Aaron had all his moves on displayed last night as he finished the game leading all scorers with 23 pts. He was 50% from the field and the three and made all eight of his free throws. The only thing Aaron didn’t do was hold up his jersey with his thumbs to let Gatornation read the KENTUCKY across his chest – Keith Bogans Esque…Dakari, Marcus, Andrew played poorly: Dakari, Marcus, and Andrew are all capable of playing better than what they displayed last night, but this team was still able to get the W minus them, Trey Lyles, and Alex Poythress. Those are the signs of how deep this team really is.Coach Donovan: “Did we maybe make a step? Was it because of how poorly we played at Vandy? Was it because it was Kentucky?” Donovan said. “I think we’ll find out as we move forward as a team. This is the first time in 23 games I felt like our team played to win the game instead of being wrapped up and consumed with themselves.”Coach Calipari: “They played a lot of the game without Frazier and they still had a chance to beat us,” Calipari said. “That tells you what kind of game Florida played. They played to win, they fought, they did whatever they had to. They started putting their head down and driving into our centers and making layups.” Be Sociable, Share! Tweet