(Photo courtesy of Courier-Journal)
If last night’s walloping of a large, physical Texas A&M team showed us anything, it showed us how truly scary UK can be when they are able to limit their turnovers and dominate in the paint. Other than limiting the Aggies to 58 in what could be their best defensive showing of the season, the Wildcats were blazing hot from beyond the arc with Isaiah Briscoe shooting 3/3 and Malik Monk going 5/7. Going into this game, ball security was a bit of a concern, with unnecessary passes being forced down low, or sloppy ball handling being the culprit. In last night’s contest, however, the Wildcats looked like an entirely different team, having turned the ball over only nine times compared to A&M’s dismal 25 times. When Kentucky plays solid defense, dominates the paint, protects the ball and takes the time for plays to develop, I honestly believe that they cannot be beaten.
Kentucky also made an acceptable effort in grabbing rebounds, out-rebounding A&M 30-28 and holding Aggie big man Tyler Davis to only two rebounds. Speaking of Tyler Davis, he indeed struggled against Bam Adebayo, scoring below his season average with 13 points in last night’s contest. Coupled with his measly two rebounds, it’s safe to say that Davis is wishing he was playing heads up with the willowy Skal Labisierre as opposed to Dwight Howard’s clone Bam Adebayo. Isaac Humphries had a pleasantly decent game, leading the team with six rebounds while scoring eight points and an astounding zero turnovers, which is a relief to Big Blue Nation as he sometimes seems to be a liability while out on the floor. If Isaac keeps this up, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that Coach Calipari might sponsor him for citizenship.
Needless to say, if Kentucky can maintain this type of focused, physical, high energy play, there is no reason as to why Kentucky won’t bring home it’s 9th national championship to Lexington come March.