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Kentucky Backcourt Heating Up Going Into Conference Play

Over our last 4 games, following a disappointing loss on the road to Notre Dame, Kentucky has won by an average of 33.75 points. This consists of wins over a blue blood rival in North Carolina, and in-state rival and probable tournament team in Western Kentucky, our first SEC matchup against Missouri, and Tubby Smith's High Point.

These blowout wins are strongly and directly correlated to the elite guard play we have seen from our backcourt. Oscar Tshiebwe continues to be dominant and Keion Brooks has had a couple very productive games as well. But the improved play of Sahvir Wheeler, TyTy Washington, and Kellan Grady is turning Kentucky into one of the best teams in the country.

Sahvir Wheeler got us started on this win streak by putting up 26 points (a team high this season), along with 8 assists and 4 steals in what was a breakout performance against the Tar Heels in Las Vegas. Over this 4 game stretch, he has been very efficient by shooting 52.5% from the field to go with a 2.91 assist to turnover ratio.

TyTy Washington is showing us why he deserved his 5 star ranking as one of the best guards in his recruiting class. During our current win streak, he is averaging 14.5 points and 5.25 assists on an efficient 4.2 assist to turnover ratio, 56.8% shooting from the field, and 47.1% from three. This offense paired with continued lockdown on-ball defense is making him one of the most productive, not just freshman, but guards in the whole country.

And lastly, we cannot forget about Kellan "Grandad" Grady. The cries of the Big Blue Nation begging Grady to shoot have finally been heard and answered with Grady hitting 5+ threes in 3 of the past 4 games. He has shot 20 of 31 (64.5%) from three over that stretch, moving him up to the second most accurate three point shooter with at least 70 attempts in the country, only behind Kyle Foster of Howard.

The Cats will need continued dominant guard play as they enter a tough conference schedule. Their next game, on Tuesday, January 4, will come on the road against 12-1 #16 LSU.


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