Another home game, another loss. Unranked Gonzaga came into Rupp Arena and hammered Kentucky’s interior defense for 50 points in the paint and scored 1.22 points per possession. John Calipari had no answers, Kentucky’s bigs were exposed, and now this program has dropped three consecutive games at Rupp Arena for the first time in history.
The trend lines are not good for this basketball program. Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament resume all of a sudden looks mediocre with some very tough games remaining. UK’s highly anticipated season is crumbling with a month left of the season.
It’s gut-check time in Lexington.
On this beautiful Super Bowl Sunday, there is a lot to recap after the program’s second consecutive loss to Gonzaga and a new offensive coordinator hire expected to become official at some point over the next few days. Let’s dive in.
Kentucky’s defense is simply bad
Gonzaga was the third consecutive top-25 offense that Kentucky faced at home. Similar to Florida and Tennessee, the Wildcats had little to no answers on the defensive end of the floor.
Mark Few’s team became the sixth opponent in the last 11 games to score 85-plus points against Kentucky. We’ve seen other foes torch the Wildcats with three-point shooting, but that is not what the Bulldogs did in Downtown Lexington on Saturday evening. The West Coast Conference program hit only four threes but pounded Kentucky with two-point shooting (56% on 50 field goal attempts) and free throws (87.5% on 24 attempts). Gonzaga accumulated 15 assists on 32 field goals and consistently created an easy post-up bucket whenever they wanted.
Kentucky is now down to No. 124 in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Wildcats rank sub-100 in turnover percentage, defensive rebound percentage, and two-point field goal percentage. John Calipari’s defense cannot end possessions and struggles to guard teams inside the three-point line. There are a lot of problems with this group.
It’s hard to see this team turning things around because of the play on this end of the floor.
KSR recaps Kentucky’s loss to Gonzaga
Need some morning reading after the tough loss to Gonzaga? KSR has everything you need to know from another disappointing performance. This team continues to show they can score with anyone, but the defense simply cannot stop any offense with a pulse.
Smash those links.
- Why Rob Dillingham did not play down the stretch
- John Calipari is taking the blame for the loss
- Here’s what happened on Kentucky’s failed last possession to win the game
- RECAP: Kentucky falls short against Gonzaga
- It’s win in March or bust
- Kentucky’s late-game offense has been a problem
- Nolan Hickman had a strong Rupp Arena debut
- Kentucky misses Tre Mitchell
- Kentucky has lost the Rupp Arena magic
More postgame coverage on KSR’s YouTube Channel
Want to know what John Calipari, Antonio Reeves, and Adou Thiero said after Kentucky’s loss to Gonzaga? We’ve got you covered. KSR’s Drew Franklin, Zack Geoghegan, and Jack Pilgrim also jumped in front of the camera in Rupp Arena to record another Rapid Reaction following a home loss.
Smash that play button. Subscribe. Hit that like button as we talk about some Kentucky hoops.
Bush Hamdan will be Kentucky’s next offensive coordinator
After Liam Coen departed the Kentucky football program for the NFL after one year again, Mark Stoops needed just over a week to find the next offensive coordinator in Lexington. Boise State offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan is nearing a deal with the Wildcats to become the next offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Stoops.
Hamdan led a top-25 offense this past season at Boise State that finished No. 15 in yards per play, No. 17 in points per drive, and No. 33 in success for a team that won a Mountain West title. Hamdan was the offensive coordinator at Washington from 2018-19 and has produced a 1,000-yard rusher each season. Jake Browning and Jacob Eason each threw for over 3,000 yards under Hamdan. Washington won the Pac-12 and went to the Rose Bowl in 2018. Tight end Hunter Bryant was a top target for Hamdan’s offense in 2019.
From 2020-22, Hamdan was an assistant coach at Missouri spending time with both quarterbacks and receivers. Eliah Drinkwitz gave up play-calling at the end of 2022 with Hamdan taking over. That resulted in three strong performances by the Tigers to clinch bowl eligibility.
Hamdan has also spent one season in the NFL working with the Atlanta Falcons under head coach Steve Sarkisian. The 38-year-old runs a pro-style adjacent attack that sprinkles in more of the spread staples more evident in college football.
Over the next few days, we will be diving into Hamdan’s background and finding out what the new play-caller could bring to Lexington.
Super Bowl 58: San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Get those drinks on ice and the dips ready to go. Make sure you have your go-to wing orders called in early. The best Sunday of the year has arrived. Let’s play some football.
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are eyeing their third Super Bowl title. The San Francisco 49ers have arguably been the second-best franchise over the last half-decade behind the Chiefs but have yet to bring home that Lombardi Trophy despite having four NFC Championship Game appearances in five years.
Will the Chiefs continue their dynasty? Will Kyle Shanahan finally get the Super Bowl monkey off his back? We will find out this evening on CBS.
Need some help finding a winner or two. KSR has you covered with a full preview of the game.
Enjoy the last three-plus hours because the longest offseason in sports begins on Monday.