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Cats Blow Out Cards On Road

In Kentucky's first game in Louisville since the infamous '0-1' slander from former U of L head coach Chris Mack, the Cats came out and absolutely smacked the Cardinals in their toothless mouths.

In Antonio Reeves' debut inside the KFC Yum! Center, the Chicago native set the pace early for the rest of the team. The veteran finished the first half with a total of 22 points, 9-10 from the field and 4-4 from behind the arch in exciting fashion. In the second half, Antonio played 12 minutes where he recorded only 1 made field goal on 6 attempts. It appeared Reeves' game dropped off as far as production but Robert Dillingham picked up the slack entirely. With energy from the bench, the guard scored 8 points on 4-6 shooting and continually got the basketball into transition which led to open shots coming from everywhere. The final stat sheet was a sight to see.

In the postgame presser, Louisville Cardinals head coach (and former UK assistant) Kenny Payne acknowledged the fast-paced Kentucky offense against his team in transition."The game plan was knowing that this is an excellent transition team and that we had to spread back and match up and at times, that's hard because it's not just one guy or two guys. It's 5 guys that all have the ability to drive it, pass it and shoot it."

The biggest surprise of the night for Kentucky fans and media alike was the breakout of former 5-star freshman Justin Edwards. In the second half, Edwards was a completely different player than the one we've seen thus far in the 2023-24 season. The Philly native scored 11 points in the second half alone, totaling 13 for the game. The three-guard did a great job of getting open off of the ball and creating opportunities for himself. Clearly, an impact player UK will need as we turn the 2023 chapter and inch closer into 2024. He's been a player we've been waiting to get things going all year and tonight was a great step forward for him individually.

In the postgame presser, Kentucky head coach John Calipari gave an update on the highly anticipated debut of Croatian big man Zvonimir Ivisic after rumors of him potentially departing from the team after Christmas. "(Ivisic) is going to go home and be back for the Illinois State game and hopefully we hear something." Calipari then sent a message to the NCAA in regard to Ivisic's eligibility. "So here's the crazy thing -- NIL. You do know juniors are making hundreds of thousands in high school. One just signed for a million... High school. Seniors are making hundreds of thousands in high school. Well, 'it's stated different', stop it... That's why we're in this position and that's why the Supreme Court and every court says no, you cannot do it that way. I'm hoping that they look at this and... it took us a while to get admitted." All of his comments after tonight's win can be found here as well as the comments from veteran leaders Antonio Reeves and Tre Mitchell.

Kentucky played a game in which the hot hand got the ball, and today there happened to be a few of them. A team that put two halves together against a less than stellar University of Louisville team, but a young team that will continue to build confidence as they head into the Illinois State game and after that, into conference play, potentially with Zvonimir Ivisic. And now while we wait, did we all just witness Kenny Payne's last game as the head coach of Louisville? Only time will tell.

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