Cats beat down Govs; Boogie is a bad man

Hunter Campbellover 11 years

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50816189-b08a39646a03ee82e4fe5e4fa3191a514b2d7104-full courtesy of Brett Dawson (@wildcats)
In a game that had a bit of a weird feel from the beginning, the Cats were eventually able to out-everything the visitors from Austin Peay, 90-69. The boys in blue came out a little sluggish in the opening minutes of both halves, but were dominant down the stretch in each and a game squad from Clarksville proved no match for a team that seems to have done much to find themselves over the last two weeks. The Governors of Peay (not to be confused with the Presidents of Poopie) were not an incapable foe and sported an RPI above North Carolina, Florida and Memphis entering today's loss to the Wildcats, so it's a solid win despite what the names on the jerseys said. Still, Coach Calipari is seemingly unimpressed, lamenting in the post game that Patrick Patterson, who led the team in scoring and rebounding, had the softest 21 and 9 he's ever seen. He went on to add that after Christmas the team will be going to three-a-day practices. No word on if Coach Cal has any thoughts on giving Christmas back to the citizens of Who-ville, but here's to hoping his heart grows a few sizes before he runs our boys' legs off. A few points on the game... ---Coming into the season, outside shooting was our biggest question mark, one which if answered could prove instrumental in our trek to the promised land. To this point, our performance from behind the arc has been consistent and far from the liability we feared it could be. John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and Darius Miller are all shooting the ball better than we probably expected, and the 6-for-9 shooting exhibition from three-point land in the first half is the latest evidence that this team shoots well enough to contend for the Final Four. We don't have to be a great shooting team, but we must hit open threes, and that's exactly what we did today. ---We also were a perfect 18-for-18 from the line this afternoon. ---The game lacked an overall intensity for long stretches, but when Kentucky went on their decisive 12-0 run in the second half, you could see the Cats dial it up and go to a level Peay couldn't match. There were several big plays during the run, but the Bledsoe-to-Wall-to-Patterson double alley oop was a thing of beauty. ---Speaking of Wall, no news (which is good news) on his knee in the postgame presser. But raise your hand if you needed a drawer change around the 17:50 mark of the second half. ---It was great to see DeAndre Liggins get some clock and an ovation when he came in the game. Whatever the issues were seem to have subsided for the moment and hopefully forever. Liggins got a basket and brought plenty of energy and the ceiling for this team becomes increasingly higher if he develops into a reliable contributor. We certainly hope he does. ---Solid defensive effort for the Cats, holding the Govs to 38% shooting and blocking eight shots, both of which are right in line with our season averages. However, you'd like to see more than 11 turnovers forced, in comparison with the 16 we gave up, but it's hardly a complaint. Kentucky dominated the glass to the tune of 44-24. The Govs' leading rebounder had five, while we had four players with five or more, including Ramon Harris, who grabbed six boards in seven minutes of action. Overall a performance anyone not paid a cool couple million to coach the team can be very pleased with. We shot it well, played stout defense and were great in transition. Not only that, but the dancing guy returned to Rupp and we moved to the cusp of our history-making 2000th win. A good day to be a Cats fan, all in all. Go Big Blue.

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2021-09-16