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Fox has historic triple-double to lead UK rout

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari was hoping for a grind-it-out, close game against Arizona State in the Bahamas Monday night.

He didn’t get that as No. 1 UK rolled from the start and thrashed Arizona State 115-69, it’s third straight game over 100 points for the first time since 1977.

But what Calipari did get was to watch history. Freshman point guard De’Aaron Fox became just the second UK player to get a triple double with his 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists (he also had two steals). The only other UK player ever to have a triple-double was Chris Mills on Dec. 27, 1988.

As impressive as it was to see what Fox did so early in his career, he was not UK’s only star. Malik Monk had 23 points and had a highlight reel play when he caught a long outlet pass from Isaiah Briscoe with one hand and somehow threw it to Wenyen Gabriel before falling out of bounds. And Gabriel finished the play with a reverse slam.

Briscoe had missed the previous two games with a bruised thigh but had 20 points (he was 7-for-9 from the field) along with seven assists, four rebounds and three steals. Bam Adebayo had a routine 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting, nine rebounds and three blocks. Gabriel got 10 points and seven rebounds. Derek Willis had 11 points and six rebounds.

Kentucky hit 44 of 83 shots (11 of 28 3-pointers) and won the rebounding battling 59-33 as outmanned Arizona State was just 25 of 73 from the field. UK also blocked nine shots.

The Cats managed an incredible 1.386 points per possession and UK’s average time of possession was 13 seconds.

Even ESPN analyst Dan Dakich, who has never been over complimentary of UK or coach John Calipari, could do nothing but rave about the Wildcats.

“If you don’t like this Kentucky team, you’re either biased against them or don’t know basketball,” said Dakich late in the game.

Seth Greenburg, ESPN’s in-studio analyst, was impressed, too, with “how hard Kentucky plays and how accountable they are” to each other. He said getting that many talented, young players to do that is the “magic of John Calipari.”

4 comments

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  1. Cats79

    Scary good, but ask me after they go through the toughest schedule coming up!!

    1. Persimmon Knob

      The “tough part” of the schedule, per the minions at the Herald Leader began tonight. It will get harder to win these contests as they move forward. Having said all of that crap, I don’t for a moment believe there is a program in the country better than Cals Cats right now. His ability to meld a group of young guys into an unstoppable force on court is becoming legendary. It’s a very good time to be a fan of Wildcat basketball, (and football).

  2. TrueBlueJohn

    Fox, Monk, Adebayo, Briscoe, Gabriel, Willis, Mulder, etc., For an opposing coach, which poison do you pick? It has to be a nightmare for how you defend these guys.

  3. KingGhidora

    I’ve been saying it for a while – this team is astoundingly good. It may be the best accumulation of talent on one team “ever” in college basketball even eclipsing the John Wooden “bought by Papa Sam Gilbert” teams (that’s not speculation – it’s known fact). The speed of this team is incredible. The hustle is amazing likely because they know if they let up someone else will take their place because they are also very, very deep. They have at least 10 players that would start on pretty much every team in the country and maybe 11 (not sure about Wynyard yet – he doesn’t get to play enough for me to decide). Heck I’m not convinced that Jr. isn’t a really good prospect. He can shoot. He reminds me of Cameron Mills and we all know the contributions he made.

    Fox is sensational with speed that’s off the charts, Bam is like a man playing boys – I told my wife that as soon as he learned to rebound with two hands he would be unstoppable and he is), Gabriel has no ceiling I can see, Willis is the great player I always knew he could be – that diving save was incredible, Briscoe is like a junk yard dog who won’t be denied putting his bone where it goes – in the basket and he can shoot from outside now too, and then there’s Monk. OMG I am not sure I have ever seen a better player at this point in his development. He is playing 3 speeds ahead of everyone else. That one hand grab and pass in mid air falling backwards for a perfect reverse layup is the stuff of legend. Pistol Pete couldn’t have done it any better. Monk is simply incredible. I’m running out of superlatives here. It sounds like a kid in a toy store right before Christmas but those of you that know me know I don’t rave like this about many teams. I’ve said some were very good and they were. This one may be the best. They have great players who aren’t going to get minutes because the platoon system didn’t bring home a title when it should have. There are kids that will be playing that are very good but just maybe aren’t super good (like Humphries) and there are guys that could be super if they had more PT like Hawkins and Mulder. Those guys can play some basketball.

    I feel downright giddy about this team. They could have scored 150 in that game that everyone thought was their first test. Didn’t they say Michigan St. was their first test? And UCLA – they won’t be in the game at the end. They may do better than the other teams which means they may only get down 40 or 50 points instead of 100. I still can’t believe they got up 100 points on a team. That’s insane and I don’t care if it was a cupcake. That was insane. They could have gotten up 70 against Az. St. and they weren’t a cupcake.

    Fasten your seatbelts, hands and feet inside the car at all times, and hold on to your lunch. It’s going to be a wild ride.

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