I'm sure many of you are coming on here tonight excited as ever as you started to realzie that we have a damn good ball team this year. Now granted, I'm just happy we made it to the actual season. The on-campus bubble for the players, trying to get Sarr eligible, and replacing 94% of our scoring from last season was quite the task.
Well, anyways, we've made it. And this team is starting to get things rocking as they just beat the brakes off of Morehead State, 81-45. There was no doubt this was a win in the books when it was schedule a few months back, but tonight was more to get that feel of who our rotation would be, which player would play better than people thought, who would play worse than people thought, and truly find out what we have with this roster.
With Keion Brooks not suiting up tonight as he is still recovering from a calf injury, Cal started off with the first five being, Devin Askew, BJ Boston, Terrence Clark, Isaiah Jackson and Olivier Sarr. The first three off the bench were Davion Mintz and Lance Ware, then Jacob Toppin as the eighth man.
Isaiah Jackson and Terrence Clarke started things off hot for this group as they scored there majority of the points inside the first four minutes. Jackson's pure mid-range jumper and Clarke's ability to force fouls as he drove to the rim were nearly unstoppable early on. With Devin Askew just being months removed from his junior year of High School basketball, he controlled the ball with absolute ease and ran the show for the entire game. On the other hand, Olivier Sarr went completely cold for the entire first half as he had zero points and zero shot attempts.
By the end of the first half, our offensive production was pretty much evenly spread out as six Wildcats had at least 5 points, three having at least 7, allowing all of the scoring to not be forced onto one player.
Halftime: Kentucky 45, Morehead State 26
As the second half got under way, we finally got to see Olivier Sarr break out of his shell as he scored on 3 of 4 plays, which included an alley-oop lob from Mintz (below), and racked up a quick 6 points.
From there on out he seemed to be showing #BBN what Olivier Sarr basketball was all about as he finished with a nice stat line of 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 blocks.
Lets not let it go unnoticed of the way Cam'Ron Fletcher played in his debut tonight. A player who clearly wasn't going to be in the top-five on the roster, nor did people have him penciled in as the sixth man. Fletcher was believed by many to be somewhere floating around Kentucky's 8th or 9th best player on the team, and that he'd be fighting his way for true minutes as this season went on. Well, leave it for him to show us that that might not be the case. 9 points on 4/5 shooting, including 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and a knock down corner three as he turned the heads of nearly everyone. Tonight, going off just one game of footage for this team, he should be the second guy off the bench and in my opinion pushes Jacob Toppin a little further back in the rotation. Heck of a performance tonight and his biggest strength that he brings to this team is his size, and ability to play 'bully-ball' down in the post. My stock I've put on his has shot up way high over the last 3 hours.
To wrap up game one of the season, four Wildcats scored in double figures, and 7 total Wildcats scored at least 8 points or more in route of finding their first win of many to come. Yeah it might just be Morehead State but man did this team look absolutely great. A win like this isn't bragging rights by any means, but you have every reason to be excited from what you just saw on the court tonight. A squad that seems to be full of chemistry, selfless, and a seemingly already developed roles from each player. With just one game under our belts, I am going to say this with caution, but it's something I actually believed: Are you really telling me there are nine teams better than Kentucky in college basketball? I don't buy it... Time will only tell, and I'm excited as ever to watch this team chase number nine. You should be too.