NCAA Basketball

College Basketball Analysis: Kentucky Impresses vs. South Carolina

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I can’t wait to get back to Rupp Arena. All these road games are so stressful.

We were out rebounded, had twice as many turnovers as assists and the best player on the floor was on the other team, yet the Cats were able to go into Columbia and pull out a much needed win in a fairly convincing fashion.

When UK was on they were really on tonight, but we had some brutal cold spells as well. We were able to turn a 10 point halftime advantage into a 17 point second half lead, only to squander it and allow South Carolina to get within 5 with about a minute left. Efficient free throw shooting was able to keep the fanbase from descending into a total meltdown, but the Big Blue Nation felt their collective pulses quicken after Smith made his third free throw.

Darius Miller was the most important player on the floor for the Cats today. He was efficient, scored in a variety of ways and, most importantly, flexed that leadership muscle. His play dictates how he affects the flow of the game and, when his shots were falling, he was the best player on the court and that positively influenced his teammates.

Brandon Knight went out and reminded me why I love him so much with his expectational scoring ability and proficiency in scoring from the free throw line, Brandon put the game away early and then iced it late.

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Terrence compiled a first half highlight reel with some destructive dunks and he showed a genuine effort to get his teammates involved. Nothing selfish about that.

On the negative side of the spectrum, DeAndre and Josh were basically nonexistent on the offensive end and Doron accumulated over half his point total from the line in the final minute. I think it’s a testament to how important Darius is, that these guys can account for so little scoring yet we can still win in an effective way.

Also a little troubling for Cats fans, after watching JaMychal Green and now Sam Muldrow absolutely destroy us inside, the biggest defensive weakness for this team is obviously guarding athletic big men. Zeller, Thompkins and Oriakhi were able to do the same thing to us as well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t see Ohio State and Sullinger in the NCAA tournament.

We get a rematch with Georgia, in Rupp, on the 29th. I expect the Big Blue Faithful to be rockin’.

It’s going to be a good one.

Go Cats.