Written By: Michael McCarty/@mick_mccarty
#10 Kentucky 87 vs Winthrop 74
Cats get another victory
UK handled business again on Wednesday taking care of the Winthrop Eagles. Kentucky got the lead one-minute in and held on to that lead for the rest of the game. The lead got up to 26 points at one point and UK let their foot off the gas only getting the win by 13. It was a good offensive game for the Cats where they were able to put up 87 points despite 19 turnovers.
Winthrop continued the early season three point barrage that the Cats have been facing hitting 13 threes. The eagles had five different players score in double digits including six hitting from behind the arc. The Winthrop big men did a great job at spreading out the Cats and hitting shots from a distance. As with the Duke game this Kentucky squad is going to struggle when they play against a team that plays a lot of 6’6” to 6’8” guys. Winthrop was just too out manned and although made it look respectable at the end never really had a chance to win this game.
Kentucky had five players score in double digits and were led by PJ Washington. Washington had another strong game for the Cats scoring 19 and grabbing 11 rebounds. This is the first step for Kentucky to be a great team this season. PJ has to average a double double for this team to be as special as I believe they can be. Tyler Herro had another strong game scoring 15 points and getting a team high 7 assists. UK blew this game wide open by the middle of the first half but was unable to hold the large lead due to turnovers. It is still early in the season so there is no reason to panic but they are going to have to do better than 19 turnovers on 20 assists. Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery combined for only 28 minutes of game play. One of the biggest questions for the Cats right now seems to be how many minutes and the combination to play the bigs. Right now this is Kentucky’s strong point while the guard play is still figuring themselves out.
Kentucky is winning games, the amount they are winning by is not an issue. I think it is actually good for this team to not be blowing out everyone. December is always the month that Cal coached teams make their most improvement during the season. The key issues that UK is going to need to work on moving forward are going to start with guard play. This Kentucky team has to figure out who is going to be running the point. Quade Green brings a lot to the UK offense but we cant rely on 0 assists and 3 turnovers to lead this team. Hagans, although the best defensively is just not playing to the caliber that he needs to be for this team to excel. Quickley is running the point the best right now but is not wowing me either. We need one of these three players to put themselves above the rest and take the lead for this team. I think all three players are incredibly capable and look forward to watching them develop as the season moves forward.