20 questions asked and answered on UK win over Penn

(H-L photo/Charles Bertram)

(H-L photo/Charles Bertram)

It seemed to work ok off the Louisville game, so let’s try it again. Twenty questions asked and answered about the Cats’ 86-62 win over Penn tonight at Rupp.

  • 1. What was the game’s key stretch?
    • Kentucky finished the first half with a 12-0 run to turn into a 32-21 deficit into a 33-32 lead at intermission.
  • 2. Key stat?
    • Kentucky shot 81.8 percent the second half, making 18 of 22 shots.
  • 3. How good was that?
    • I had Kentucky scoring on 14 of their first 15 possessions of the second half.
  • 4. Leading scorer?
    • Brandon Knight led Kentucky with 22 points, following up on the faith of the livebloggers. Fifty percent of those predicted Brandon would rule.
  • 5. How about those stat-geek stats?
    • Kentucky averaged 1.408 points per possession, best since averaging 1.493 points per trip on Dec. 29 of last season.
  • 6. Another stat-geek stat?
    • Kentucky had more offensive rebounds (15) than Penn had defensive rebounds (9). Josh Harrellson had seven offensive boards for the Cats.
  • 7. What about a negative stat-geek stat?
    • Penn averaged 1.023 points per trip, only the second UK foe to cross the point-per-possession mark. UConn averaged 1.253 when the Huskies caused the Cats to do a wipeout in Maui.

  • 8. Turnaround stat?
    • Penn made seven of nine three-pointers in the first half, then only got off three threes in the second half. The Quakers made one.
  • 9. Well, excuse me!!!???
    • Dan Rieffer of WTVQ asked Penn’s Tyler Bernardini in the post-game press conference if the Quakers came in with the mindset they could win the game. Head coach Jerome Allen didn’t like the question. He followed up on Bernardini’s answer by saying that Penn was one of the winningest programs in college basketball, yada-yada-yada. Hey, we’re not Ivy Leaguers here, but Penn was 5-5 coming in.
  • 10. Best player on the other team?
    • Bernardini, who played with a mask, and made seven of 11 shots, including three of four three-pointers, on the way to a 22-point night. Something to tell his grandchildren about.
  • 11. Could Josh Harrellson follow up his fab-Friday performance?
    • He could. Jorts scored 12 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and turned into Patrick Ewing, blocking six shots.
  • 12. So what was Cal’s talking point, because you know he had a talking point?
    • The SEC East. On the SEC teleconference this morning, the post-game press conference tonight, and on his post-game radio show, Cal kept talking up how tough the SEC East is going to be this season. But then the Cats start conference play with an SEC East team, Georgia, on Saturday. On the road. “And it’s already sold out,” said Cal.
  • 13. Surprise of the night?
    • 14. Even in a 24-point blowout, Jon Hood saw the floor for two minutes. Stacey Poole saw the floor for one minute, same as Jarod Polson.
  • 14. Anyone else deserve a shout-out?
    • Doron Lamb scored 16 points off the bench. But then we’re getting used to that.
  • 15. Disappointment of the night?
    • Eloy Vargas earned just 10 minutes, scored just four points and grabbed just two rebounds. At one point he tried to grab the ball with one hand, and found himself being jumped on by Brandon Knight. Then Cal took Vargas out.
  • 16. Bad recurring theme?
    • Terrence Jones had just 10 points, though the freshman did grab eight rebounds. He started slowly again, just three points in the first half. Cal said if he does his job, and Terrence buys in, Jones should be the best player in the country.
  • 17. Good recurring theme?
    • Kentucky made 14 of 17 free throws. Over the last four games, the Cats are 52 of 62 from the foul line for 83.9 percent.
  • 18. Something that bodes well for the future?
    • Kentucky had 20 assists on their 32 made field goals. Darius Miller led the way with six assists.
  • 19. Was Cal happy with Miller’s 11 points, seven boards and six assists?
    • No. “I still want more,” said the coach.
  • 20. Amusing on-line moment of the night?
    • When I tweeted that the attendance at Rupp was 21,681, my friend Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News replied, “That’s still more than at the Orange Bowl.”
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