Posted: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013
By James Streble
Here is a look back at the first five games that the Kentucky Wildcats have played.
The first five games are in the books for the Kentucky Wildcats and there is plenty to digest. They started the season as the number one team in the country and the odds on favorites to win it all. The ranking has changed but the ‘Cats still are looked at as the team to beat when March rolls around.
Let's take a look back at the first five game stretch and I'll let you know my thoughts on this team at this juncture of the season.
Kentucky 89- UNC Asheville 57
Star of the Game- Julius Randle: 23 points and 15 rebounds
Co-Star of the Game- Alex Poythress: 10 points and 13 rebounds
Interesting Stats of the Game: Kentucky out-rebounded UNC Asheville 47 to 31. They didn't shoot their best, going 27.3% from three and 62.5% from the free throw stripe. Marcus Lee played 15 minutes and scored 17 points. They committed only seven turnovers forced 13.
Kentucky 93- Northern Kentucky 63
Star of the Game- Julius Randle: 22 points and 14 rebounds
Co-Star of the Game- Andrew Harrison: 13 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover.
Interesting Stats of the Game- Kentucky's free throw shooting and three point shooting improved. They shot 31.8% from the three and 68.4% from the charity stripe. They had 51 rebounds to the Norse's 23 (That's just ridiculous). The Norse almost outscored the ‘Cats in the second half, scoring 41 to UK's 45.
Kentucky 74- Michigan State 78
Star of the Game- Julius Randle: 27 points and 13 rebounds.
Co-Star of the Game- James Young: 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal
Interesting Stats of the Game- Kentucky committed a season high 17 turnovers and shot a woeful 20% from three and 55.6% from the free throw line. Kentucky outscored MSU 42-34 in the second half. The ‘Cats out-rebounded Sparty 44-32. MSU committed 27 fouls compared to UK's 19. But UK had only 8 assists while MSU had 17.
Kentucky 87- Robert Morris 49
Star of the Game- Aaron Harrison: 28 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Co-Star of the Game- Willie Cauley-Stein: 7 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks
Interesting Stats of the Game- Shooting percentages are climbing: Free throws- 70.6%; Threes- 36.8%. The ‘Cats again murdered their opponents on the boards grabbing 56 to Bobby Mo's 33. UK dished out 20 assists but committed 15 turnovers. Robert Morris was held to shooting 23.2% from the field, going 16-69. That's damn good.
Kentucky 105- Texas Arlington 76
Star of the Game- James Young: 26 points, 5-10 from three, 8-14 from the field
Co-Star of the Game- Julius Randle: 22 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks
Interesting Stats of the Game- Kentucky let UTA have a good night shooting the ball: 41.3% from the field, 42.1% from three, 72.7% from the free throw line. 46 rebounds to 34 in favor of Kentucky. Kentucky had 18 assists and only 8 turnovers. That's a stat line that needs to improve continually. Kentucky had 7 steals and 8 blocks compared to 3 steals and 0 blocks from the Mavericks.
Thoughts and Observations
Next Five Up: 11/25 vs. Cleveland State; 12/1 vs. Providence (@ the Barclay's Center); 12/6 vs. #20 Baylor (@ Texas Stadium); 12/10 vs. Boise State; 12/14 at #24 North Carolina