#6 Wildcats Roll The Razorbacks, 97-71
Despite a shaky first half from Kentucky, marked by dumb turnovers and frailness in the paint, the Wildcats outlasted the Razorbacks after exploding late in the second half to cruise to 3-0 in conference play. And before you say it: I know, I know, Malik Monk didn’t exactly score 50 points last night like I had hoped he would. De’Aaron Fox, on the other hand, put on a clinic last night by scoring 27 points, and having six rebounds with six assists. For all of those who doubt John Calipari’s system, this is the beauty of having multiple five star recruits playing for you; someone always steps up and takes control of the game.
That doesn’t go without saying that there is definitely a glaring downside to this system in how, despite all reasoning, this team initially shies away from down low, physical basketball. Also, that damn zone defense that every team seems to use against Kentucky does a great job in slowing down the tempo and forcing them to make bad passes and force bad shots. Overall, Arkansas didn’t perform as badly as the score reflects, with Razorback Moses Kingsley having a fantastic game, posting 14 points and seven rebounds, as did Jaylen Barford by scoring 14 points of his own. While this isn’t truly remarkable in and of itself, these two performances stand out because the points that these two scored were predominantly scored in the paint by a bigger, more athletic opponent. The good times were quickly ended in the second half for Arkansas with Kentucky outscoring them 33-56 in the second half alone.
While it’s clear that Kentucky has to continue to improve in terms of ball security and starting games with intensity and focus, the season is indeed young and I think we will see a few more ugly performances. If you ask me though, starting 3-0 in conference play will do.