University of Kentucky Faces Tough First Three Games of the 2020-2021 NCAAM Basketball Season
For the first time in his career at Kentucky, Head Coach John Calipari is below 0.500% during the season, unheard of since arriving in Lexington in 2009. However, Coach Cal is not worried, he understands the importance of growth among his kids and will continue to win, as he has done in previous seasons.
Opening the season against Morehead State on Nov. 25th, the 10th ranked Wildcats picked up a convincing 81-45 victory over the Eagles in Rupp Arena. Freshman Brandon Boston Jr. lead the Cats in scoring with 15 points, while grabbing 7 boards. Following a Detroit Mercy cancellation (will be made up Dec. 15th), the Wildcats took on A10 member Richmond on the following Sunday. Against a senior-led, experienced Spiders team, the freshman-ridden Wildcats' inexperience showed. Although Kentucky led at the half, a combination of turnovers and poor shooting would make the difference in this contest. A 36.1% field goal percentage, combined with 0-10 shooting behind the 3-point arc and 21 turnovers, saw the Cats losing 76-64. Despite the offensive struggles, Brandon Boston Jr. (20 pts, 10 reb) and senior transfer Olivier Sarr (17 pts, 11 reb) picked up double-doubles, while lengthy freshman Isaiah Jackson contributed 14 rebounds off of the bench. Experiencing defeat for the first time this season, Coach Cal would need to ready his boys for the State Farm Champions Classic matchup against Kansas.
The battle of the bluebloods was highly anticipated, and it lived up to the hype. Kentucky was ready for the tough matchup as they led 35-29 at halftime. After a strong start, the Wildcats were again plagued by inexperience and Jalen Wilson's career-high 23-point game, with 21 of those points coming in the second half. The Wildcats would drop the contest 65-62, falling to 1-2 early in the season. Following Kentucky basketball has taught me one thing, and that is to be patient because our freshmen are young and still learning.
Big Blue Nation looks to bounce back this Sunday against Georgia Tech, which I have no doubt Cal will have them prepared for.