The UK Wildcats made their 2011-2012 debut last night in Rupp Arena and came away with a 97-53 victory over the Transylvania Pioneers. I’m not going to hit you with too many stats from the game, but am going to give my view of what took place and where UK needs to improve from here.
The one big positive thing I came away with last night is Terrence Jones is going to be a beast this season. The man has gotten bigger and stronger and that’s going to be a good thing if you’re a UK fan.
There were many negatives in this game, but I’ll keep it quick. I was disappointed in Anthony Davis’s play last night, but I shouldn’t be. He is a freshman playing against an opponent in Rupp Arena for the first time. I did expect him to dominate on both ends of the floor, but only on the defensive end did he dominate. He definitely has a way to go offensively around the basket. Being 6-10 is nice, but once you get into the meat of the season, every team is going to have a big man to matchup with him. His offensive game will need to develop fast. Still, I have every expectation he will be one of the 10-15 best players in the nation by season’s end. He is special and you can believe that coach Calipari will make sure he gets everything from Davis.
The defense by Kentucky last night was not even close to the type of intensity that coach Calipari wants to see out of his team. Transy was hitting 3’s left and right and no one really closed out on those shots, more of a lazy attempt to jump and “alter” the shot. The defense at times at best was lacking and after attending a John Calipari coaching clinic in the past, I know this had to be driving him nuts seeing this. He will get their attention BBN.
As far as important stats go, I know UK was in double-digit blocks, had a 22-8 assist-to-turnover ratio and outrebounded Transy 45-27, but still there is lots of work to be done to get this team where it eventually wants to go. If you missed the game or want to watch it again, check with http://www.espn3.com and it should be there. Next game is Monday November 7th vs Morehouse (another exhibition).