Kentucky vs. Duke: What the hell happened last night?

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Last night was not fun, at all.  We all had to sit through the living hell that was Kentucky vs. Duke.  For those of you who went to bed and didn’t have to live it, you’re lucky.  But, for those of us, like me, that watched most of the game, this one really stung and I don’t know what to think.

I predicted many things but a blowout of 30+ points by Duke wasn’t something I saw coming at all.  Let’s face it, Kentucky is good but Duke is just elite, and probably the best team this year.

It’s funny because fans and analysts have been saying for years that you need experience and can’t win a title with freshman.  Well, that myth was debunked last night after a Duke team full of freshman basically ran a Kentucky team, with experience, off the floor.  Now don’t get me wrong, Kentucky has its fair share of youth, but they also have three sophomores and a grad-transfer who are supposed to play big roles.

That gets us to the part of this post where we get down to business and look at what went wrong for the Cats last night.

The experienced guys didn’t show up

Quade Green, Nick Richards, PJ Washington, and Reid Travis were all supposed to play big roles this year and Reid Travis was maybe even going to be the best player.  He played great, but the other three didn’t show up.

Washington, Green, and Richards combined for 9 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, and went a combined 3/12 from the floor.  That cannot happen.

Kentucky didn’t make an effort to get Travis the ball in the first 5-7 minutes of the game and he still had 22 points and 7 rebounds.

Turnovers

With a decent amount of experience you would think turnovers would be the least of this teams worries.  Wrong.

Kentucky turned the ball over fifteen times whereas Duke turned it over only four times.

The turnovers last night were mostly lazy passes and guys not paying attention to where the opposing players were when they passed.

Shooting

Whoever scores the most point wins the game.  Kentucky didn’t even come close.

The Cats went 26-59 from the floor (44%) whereas Duke went 43-79 (54%).

Kentucky was getting open shots but just couldn’t hit them.

Defense

In my opinion, this was the worst thing all night.  We all saw it against Transy and IUP where our guards were letting their guards beat them going to the basket and our bigs weren’t blocking the shot and allowing easy buckets.

Last night was more of that.  Barrett, Reddish, Jones, and even Williamson were taking Kentucky’s guards and forwards to the basket all night and were getting easy buckets.

John Calipari has had poor defensive teams, but I don’t ever remember one looking as bad as they did last night.

Energy and effort

I don’t know how you don’t get excited for Duke on a stage as been as the Champions Classic, but Kentucky looked asleep from the beginning.

Duke was beating them to 50/50 balls, Kentucky’s defenders looked asleep all night, and offensively they just lacked a competitive edge which isn’t something I’ve seen a lot with teams with as much talent as this one.

Moving forward

Kentucky makes a quick turnaround and faces Southern Illinois Friday night.  I would expect to see a totally different basketball team and a blowout.

I’m not panicking yet because it’s early November, but if we see this stuff lingering throughout the season it might be a rough year.   I doubt that happens though.  I believe they’ll get it together.

You know Cal has to be pissed after getting run off the floor by Duke.

Go Cats.

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