The Kentucky Wildcats put on a clinic at South Carolina and reaffirmed why they are the top-ranked team in the nation with an overwhelming 86-52 win on Saturday. The devastation of the Gamecocks was so thorough that the outcome of the contest was never really in doubt past the 17:00 mark of the first half. As Coach John Calipari stated after the game, "It didn't matter who we played today, someone was getting beat by 30." While many may try to downplay the win due to the opponent, the simple fact is that conference games on the road are usually difficult and 30 point wins are rare, no matter how good you are. That UK has now strung together four straight impressive wins, including three on the road, is further indication that the Wildcats are finally developing the killer instinct that Calipari has yearned for all year.
Anthony Davis continued to put up impressive numbers and was awarded the SEC Player of the Week award as a result. Davis was a man among boys at South Carolina on Saturday while flirting with the elusive triple-double with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 8 blocks, 2 steals and an assist-all in just 28 minutes of playing time. If that line sounds like a broken record, it is because of the amazing consistency that Davis has shown all season. Anthony Davis has become the unquestionable star of this Kentucky team and is now garnering serious discussion for the national Player of the Year award.
Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones also had impressive outings with Lamb scoring 18 (including 3-of-3 from three point land) while Jones turned in another impressive stat line with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block. More to the point was the way Jones attacked the basket-with a fierceness not often seen this season. Even Kyle Wiltjer scored in double figures with 12 points.
In other news, the Wildcats remained the unanimous #1 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and stayed the top team in the AP poll despite two apparently clueless voters who continued to vote for Syracuse as their number 1. Hopefully, if the Cats take care of business against Florida and Vanderbilt this week someone will help those guys get off whatever they are smoking and vote the right way.
This week provides two stern tests for the Wildcats, who will face the other ranked SEC teams five times in their final seven conference games. First up is a Florida team that has made an impressive run in winning seven straight and entering the top-10 this week. Florida shoots (and hits) a lot of three-pointers, about the only area that UK's defense hasn't been great at defending this year. UK has cruised the past four games, and a certain swagger has taken over that could be a problem for a young team. I don't see that happening tonight, however, as I see the Cats winning, but not covering the 9.5 point spread.
Go Cats!go back