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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Troy Edition

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  • The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Troy Edition

    The Good

    * The first 30 minutes. I thought Kentucky did a lot of good things. The coach was fired up. The scoreboard was getting ugly. We were playing probably our best basketball of the season. And then.

    * +23 on the glass. After being outrebounded by Utah Valley and only outrebounding East Tennessee St. by three, Kentucky roared back on the glass. Yes, Troy was a smaller team--but I saw some out-of-area rebounds. Some tough one-on-one rebounds. And a team finally cutting off the offensive rebounds that have killed them so far.

    * Kevin Knox continuing to ball. Knox showed off some of his Durant last night, and it was fun to watch. Guy has a lot of game.

    * Three-point defense. Kentucky held Troy to 4-27 on the game, and on the season they're holding teams to 26% from behind the arc. That's the best stat this team has put up and indicative of the size UK can close out on teams with.

    * Hamidou Diallo didn't have a great game scoring-wise, but I thought he was a disruptor. Pulled 10 boards, had quite a few deflections, and his athleticism always threatens to break the game apart for the other team. If he could put it all together, and I don't think we'll see him do that at Kentucky, he could be a guy who controls basketball games. Right now it happens only in flashes.

    * Nick Richards. Again this was just in spurts, but I thought Richards' 8 and 8 was a good sign. If he plays with confidence then he can be a game-changer at his size.

    The Bad

    * Turnovers. The 16 we had mostly came in that dismal last movement, but again we're sitting there at the end of the game with more turnovers than assists. On the season that stat is a negative too: 76 assists to 80 turnovers. Until that stat begins to flip this team will continue to flounder and not be able to put even mediocre teams away.

    * PJ Washington continuing to be a non-factor. Did have 8 rebounds, but his turnovers continue to be disappointing, and at times he really doesn't look engaged in the game. The most disappointing part of the season so far to me.

    * Selfishness. For maybe the first time last night, when Kentucky got the big lead in the second half I saw some selfish play. This started with a play where Diallo had it on the baseline; somebody was on the opposite block calling for the ball, and Hami tried to take it himself. Got blocked, was promptly benched, and from there the game just started to break down. The good news about this is that I don't think this team is selfish, but they're not good enough to go one on one against teams, even mid-majors, and beat them badly. This has to be a team thing. No Malik Monks out there, unfortunately.

    * Cal overcoaching. We went to "circle" early, right around that 10-minute mark, and as I noted that's the play Cal runs when he's trying to take the air out. It's the play that almost got us beat against Kansas in 2012. It's basically a milk the clock play, and the reason he likes it with this bunch is because it makes things easy for them. The downside: it puts them against the shot clock every time. We ran it a couple of times, predictably turned it over, and then the game just fell apart. Then for some reason we went back to it, and things got worse. All the while Cal was screaming on every play, coaching virtually every dribble. I get that he can't relax with this team, but I do wonder if he's trying to orchestrate too much at times. This has been a criticism I've had going back years. Cal, strangely, can be a micro-manager. Maybe he needs to be with our youth. Last night you could feel his hand in the game way too much.

    The Ugly

    * Those last ten minutes. Imagine a root canal where you also are getting the news that you will have to have another root canal immediately after, and you'll get a feel for what that last stretch was like. Just when you thought it couldn't get any more painful, it got more painful. It was almost surreal to watch the game break down like that, and it made what was a pretty pleasing effort for 30 minutes feel virtually wasted.

  • #2
    A couple of things I would add:

    Quade Green. He absolutely has to be the point guard. He provides a feeling of calm and control to the offense. Plus he seems to have found his lost shot. Love Shai's defense and effort but to me the offense looks lost and ragged with him in control.

    Wenyen Gabriel. If he could consistently play like he did last night this is a much better team.

    I would totally agree that Washington is way behind where I expected him to be. But on the good side I think Richards is miles ahead of expectations.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree that Wenyen did some good things.

      The game isn't easy for him. He really has to work hard to put up positive things, and until he does that he won't be a consistent player. He's kind of the opposite of a Kevin Knox; with Knox it's all effortless and smooth, with Wenyen it's very lurchy and he's just having to work his butt off to get much done. He's the prototypical player who we would've said, "Man, I can't wait until he's a senior because he's going to be good" if he would've come in 20 years ago. But of course you never know if they're going to be seniors at UK.

      Also agree with Green, but Shai had that very good little run in the first half. Unfortunately he was also in for the first part of the nightmare of the last few minutes.

      I don't mind them splitting time now, particularly because Green does get some time at the 2, but I think the long-term answer looks like Quade.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Will Lavender View Post
        I don't mind them splitting time now, particularly because Green does get some time at the 2, but I think the long-term answer looks like Quade.
        Is the emphasis on the Qua or the de?

        Comment


        • #5
          I think in the end Green will be a very good point guard. He shows some flashes and like catfaninin said he does bring a calming to the game when he is in there. No he won't be a Wall or Fox but how many of those are there? Just give this team time. I think they will be pretty good by the end and will be a very tough out in the NCAA's.
          Kentucky fan since 1971.

          Comment


          • #6
            We’ve been spoiled by some absolute wizardry at the PG spot. I’m coming around on Green a little bit. I like his shot.

            That lack of speed will continue to hurt us, though.

            Comment


            • #7
              Add Kevin Knox's rainbow airball three pointer to the Ugly category.

              I've never seen a more ridiculous miss (from a "good shooter") in my years of watching basketball.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Downes Van Zandt View Post
                We’ve been spoiled by some absolute wizardry at the PG spot. I’m coming around on Green a little bit. I like his shot.

                That lack of speed will continue to hurt us, though.
                Aside from being the most reliable shooter on the team at this point, he brings a steady hand to the team. He's not going to thrill with his speed and he's probably not going to take the game over (unless he's bombing threes like against ETSU), but he's not going to make very many mistakes, either. His lack of speed on the defensive end of the court is just something we're going to have to deal with this year, I think.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KCKUKFan View Post
                  Add Kevin Knox's rainbow airball three pointer to the Ugly category.

                  I've never seen a more ridiculous miss (from a "good shooter") in my years of watching basketball.
                  I said the same thing to my wife.

                  Most of the time, air balls come up short; Knox's cleared the rim by a wide margin. Never seen anything like it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One other "ugly" thing that continues to show itself - how weak this team is with the ball around the rim. We consistently miss layups and dunks and/or are blocked under the basket. Just a sign that these guys are not very strong.

                    I like Quade, on offense. Other than his airballed layup last night he is good offensively. His terrible defense is acceptable against these mediocre teams but is going to get us crushed when we play a good PG.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by UK8STL11 View Post
                      One other "ugly" thing that continues to show itself - how weak this team is with the ball around the rim. We consistently miss layups and dunks and/or are blocked under the basket. Just a sign that these guys are not very strong.

                      I like Quade, on offense. Other than his airballed layup last night he is good offensively. His terrible defense is acceptable against these mediocre teams but is going to get us crushed when we play a good PG.
                      It didn't get us crushed against Graham, who is probably the best point guard we'll face all year.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by catfaninin View Post
                        A couple of things I would add:

                        Quade Green. He absolutely has to be the point guard. He provides a feeling of calm and control to the offense. Plus he seems to have found his lost shot. Love Shai's defense and effort but to me the offense looks lost and ragged with him in control.

                        Wenyen Gabriel. If he could consistently play like he did last night this is a much better team.

                        I would totally agree that Washington is way behind where I expected him to be. But on the good side I think Richards is miles ahead of expectations.
                        I feel the same way, but last night I was wondering if we're being fair to him. He certainly reminds me of Ulis, and am I feeling that calm and control because of Tyler. I certainly hope Green becomes as valuable as Ulis, but realistically. he has a long way to go before that happens.
                        John 3:3

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KCKUKFan View Post

                          Aside from being the most reliable shooter on the team at this point, he brings a steady hand to the team. He's not going to thrill with his speed and he's probably not going to take the game over (unless he's bombing threes like against ETSU), but he's not going to make very many mistakes, either. His lack of speed on the defensive end of the court is just something we're going to have to deal with this year, I think.
                          Best way to do this would be more zone. The length we could put at the other 4 spots could atone for mediocre speed of one.

                          And I agree he needs to be the one setting up the offense. Shai doesn't always seem to value a possession.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Great opinions and input by all...agree with most of your positions.
                            I said when I heard Shai was offered a scholarship that he was streaky/inconsistent HS player. He is a decent defender tho...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 85 Fly View Post
                              Great opinions and input by all...agree with most of your positions.
                              I said when I heard Shai was offered a scholarship that he was streaky/inconsistent HS player. He is a decent defender tho...
                              I think he's a little more than just a decent defender. They don't put deflections on box scores, but I can be safe in saying that through four games Shai might be at the top of the list of freshmen in the Cal era in that stat. Guy bothers everything.

                              One of the main reasons I like Shai is what we're talking about on the other thread: Kentucky has had trouble, as we all know, getting players who are going to stay three or four years. Here is a guy who should. You can't look at him now and make any sweeping comments about him; but if you think about him as a 21-year-old junior...he's exactly the sort of player you run into on other teams in the SEC who just control the game, but who Kentucky hasn't had a whole lot of with Cal.

                              Comment

                              The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Troy Edition

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