Quick thoughts from Kentucky’s 82-54 win over visiting Marshall.
What it means: Kentucky improved to 8-3 with its fourth straight win. It was the final home game before holiday break and it drew the largest crowd of the season, 24,271 to Rupp Arena. Overall, John Calipari said he was pleased with his team’s effort — “We made strides,” he said — especially after a full week of Camp Cal, which is basketball, basketball and more basketball.
What I liked: Ryan Harrow continues to get better. The sophomore point guard scored a career-high 23 points, hitting 10 of 17 shots. He had four assists and only two turnovers. He has just five turnovers on the season. Afterward, Calipari said if Harrow plays like that he can be the best point guard in the country. He’ll face possibly the best guard tandem in the country next Saturday at Lousiville.
What I didn’t like: Archie Goodwin scored 18 points, but made just four of 17 shots. The freshman took some ill-advised shots, but also missed a dunk. He just seemed off-balance the whole game. Calipari said that Goodwin missed four or five wide-open layups, and didn’t know whether he was “flipping” the ball up or or maybe he was looking down before he shoots, eyeing the basket at the last minute. He’ll have to shoot better next Saturday at Louisville.
What’s next: The game next Saturday at Louisville. The fifth-ranked Cards play Western Kentucky tonight in Nashville. John Calipari is 4-0 against Rick Pitino since coming to Lexington, including a win in last year’s Final Four. But this year the Cards seem to hold the upper hand in not only experience but depth and talent. “It’s going to be a hard game,” said Calipari. He says that a lot, but this time he’s right.