By LARRY VAUGHT
A week that figured to test Kentucky turned into a week filled with promise for the future.
Not only did Kentucky get an impressive road win at Arkansas Thursday, but the Wildcats demolished Vanderbilt 76-57 here Saturday.
And what made Saturday’s win so good was the way every player filled the role that coach John Calipari wanted. Tyler Ulis led Kentucky with 21 points, Jamal Murray 18 and Alex Poythress 16. On the boards, Derek Willis had nine and Murray seven. Ulis had five assists and Briscoe four. Murray had three steals.
Kentucky (15-4, 5-2) limited Vandy to 16 of 50 shooting from the field and 5 of 15 from 3-point range and moved into a tie for second place in the SEC behind unbeaten Texas A&M.
“Kentucky playing their best basketball in weeks. Better pace to their offense, more active defensively,” ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg tweeted just a few days after questioning UK’s chemistry.
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings certainly agreed by saying his team got totally outplayed.
“Disappointed in our performance and impressed with Kentucky’s,” Stalling said. “This is the best anybody has played against us. They were impressive today. I thought they were really good at Arkansas, too. That is the best anybody has played against us. Both ends, tough, hard, fast, aggressive, confident. That was good playing.”
He said Ulis was the best player on the court.
“He’s really got everything and actually utilizes his size to his advantage,” Stallings said. “That is a unique skill. He is able to change directions faster and get guys out of position. He does a great job getting to the foul line. He just understands how to take what he has and utilizes it to his advantage.”