By LARRY VAUGHT
Sindarius Thornwell was a McDonald’s All-American the same time that Julius Randle, James Young, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee were
Thornwell is now a senior at South Carolina, and scored 34 points in Saturday night’s loss at Kentucky. All the former Wildcats except Lee left for the NBA after two seasons. Lee transferred after his junior year and is now sitting out this season at California.
So how does Thornwell compare this Kentucky team to the three previous Kentucky teams he has faced?
“I played against the undefeated team my sophomore year, and that is the greatest team I ever played in college basketball,” he said. “They (2016-17 version) get the ball out real fast. You have to score fast with them. They’re young, athletic, and dangerous.”
But it still took a better defensive effort in the second half for Kentucky to pull away Saturday.
“I feel like we got a lot of energy from the crowd and that motivated us to defend and make sure they take tough shots. First half they had a lot of energy themselves and they were just driving to the basket and scoring in transition easy,” UK senior Dominique Hawkins said.
Malik Monk, who had 27 points for UK, said the Cats played with more focus than they did earlier in the week at Mississippi State.
“I think we were way more focused on defense and that is what brought us offense. I was just way more focused than I was in Mississippi,” Monk said. “I really can’t even tell you (why). I don’t even know. I didn’t make my first shot and probably got down on myself. But, I mean, I just have to look forward and keep moving on.”