Cats “Feel Good” after 100-56 win

By LARRY VAUGHT

At my age the music in Rupp Arena is not always something I know a lot about.

But about four minutes into Tuesday night’s game with Texas A&M, the 1965 single by James Brown — “I Feel Good” — was playing and it could not have been more appropriate.

By then, Kentucky had a 15-3 lead with four minutes of spectacular basketball after A&M took a 3-0 lead. Malik Monk had two 3-pointers and 8 points. Kentucky forced six turnovers in four minutes and De’Aaron Fox and Isaiah Briscoe had two assists each.

Kentucky’s speed after the A&M turnovers was astounding and the game was over by the time these James Brown lyrics had the crowd rocking even more:

“Whoa-oa-oa! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now
So good, so good, I got you

Whoa! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you.”

Kentucky had Texas A&M by then, too. The final score was 100-56 after UK led 50-27 at halftime. Texas A&M hit just three of 14 shots and turned it over 12 times in the first 13 minutes as UK took advantage of the Aggies’ lack of an experienced point guard. The Aggies have their top two point guards injured and another one ineligible.

But also remember this — Texas A&M lost only 74-67 to UCLA and 67-63 to Arizona. You might remember that UCLA beat Kentucky and Arizona is also a highly touted team.

“We had not played anybody with guards like that. UCLA lets you run offense and the way they play defense is different than Kentucky. With our guards, we are going to struggle against this kind of pressure,” Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. “When Malik gets going, I have seen it happen since he was a freshman.”

Monk had 26 points and was 5-for-7 from 3-point range. Fox had 15 points, six assists and five rebounds. Isaiah Briscoe came off his triple-double with 13 points and seven assists. He was 3-for-3 from 3-point range. Bam Adebayo added 10 points and three rebounds.

“If Briscoe is a weapon like he was today, they can win it all. I don’t know how you really defend them,” Kennedy said.

Kentucky was 33-for-63 from the field, 13-for-25 from 3-point range and 21-for-26 at the foul line. The defense also forced 25 turnovers.

“Their defensive pressure gave our young guards a lot of problems. I thought Briscoe and De’Aaron did a great job creating pressure and getting us out of offense. The turnovers just mounted up,” Kennedy said. “We just were not very good. Sometimes it looked like we just gave them the ball.

“Nothing really surprised me. I thought we would play much better. Kentucky, they are who they are. Coach Cal knows who he has and is coming at you full speed.”

4 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. Cats should feel good because WE feel good. That first half was as good as any I can remember in a long time. However with being a senior, I could be wrong with that statement. We continue to have problems with the 4 position. Willis has lost his confidence and shooting touch, but can only blame himself for not earning a starting position. Bam continues to look very steady on the offensive, but him getting only 3 boards in 23 mins. of play should invite the wrath of Cal.

  2. I understand cal wants to put up points at a high rate of speed. And when it’s going it’s hard to stop. That’s pretty clear. At some point a team more than likely in the tournament is going to slow this team down and force them into a deliberate slow down game. And this full blown up and down racing is hiding a weakness, shooting. Yes I know about monk. Overall though this isn’t a good shooting team and my concern is if someone forces them into a half court game can they function. I’d love to see them spread the court and give bam the ball as long as other team is man to man or man to bam and let him work. He needs to get more polished , they are going to need him. Alot of times he getd forgotten in the race toward the hoop. He did a power pivot toward the hoop last night and ferociously flushed the ball. I would love to see more of that. I believe , although there is clearly a ways to go , UK is going to regret down the stretch that he hasn’t been made a focal point. Would love to see his game flourish.

  3. And , respectfully, I think fox needs to scale back his shooting in the half court sets and give it to bam. Fox yes of course take it to the rack when you can, but he is not a very good shooter, and I think he is shooting to much when bam could get it more. Bam is really the only legit big man we have , better get him going. Game is still to fast for the hump.

  4. Good win, I couldn’t find anything to complain about! Briscoe was even hitting threes. The UK defense was smothering.

Leave a Reply