Three takeaways from UK’s win over NKU

wcsnku1-300Three quick things from UK’s 93-63 win over Northern Kentucky:

1. The Cats looked good. They looked real good. At times, this Kentucky team looked scary good. To be sure, Northern Kentucky isn’t Michigan State, but the Cats made noticeable improvement from Friday’s win over UNC-Asheville to Sunday’s 30-point win over the Norse. The focus was better. The defense was better. The teamwork on offense was better.

“When I walked out on the floor and saw how big they were, I thought about turning around and going back in the locker room for a little bit,” said Northern Kentucky coach Dave Bezold.

2. Kentucky’s top seven players turned the basketball over a grand total of seven times. These are mostly freshmen we’re talking about. Point guard Andrew Harrison committed one turnover in 26 minutes. His brother, Aaron, did not have a turnover in his 23 minutes. Julius Randle had two turnovers in 29 minutes, but Randle has the ball in his hands almost as much as a point guard.

“Not enough assists,” said Calipari, ever the coach, squinting at the stat sheet, which showed 12 assists.

3. UK played a zone defense. You read that correctly. The Cats didn’t play it long, but they did play it in the second half, a few possessions and Calipari said he was pretty happy with it and he thought his team had so much length it could be a good zone team.

Now did Calipari play zone because he really thinks his team can get good at it, and he wants to spend time working on it. Or did Calipari want to mess with Tom Izzo’s head.

I’m guessing he wanted to — just a little — mess with Izzo’s head.

Photo of Willie Cauley-Stein by Matt Goins/Herald-Leader

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