I'm going to start this off by saying that I'm not way deep into the negative side of things after this one. Yeah Kentucky lost (again), and now have double the losses that they have in wins (5-10), but if we're being honest, Kentucky didn't have anything to lose going into this one. After receiving their largest beating of the season just a few weeks ago inside of Rupp Arena when the Crimson Tide came to Lexington, it wasn't very likely that the Cats were winning this one. So if you would, throw me into the category of the people who are paying attention to this team improving as a whole, and figuring out how to play to their strengths, despite it still not being enough to win ball games.
Many of you would say that it's too late into the season to still be "figuring out" this teams rotation and how they can play to their strengths, and I would agree with you, but I've already mentally scrapped this season as we are not going to make the NCAA Tournament, and we're just desperately trying to claw our way into the Wednesday night games of the SEC Tournament. So my expectations aren't very high on what this season has left in store, and I'm mainly watching to see how this team can improve on their season long struggles, watching our players individually grow, and if we end up making the conference tournament then that would just be bonus.
I thought that Kentucky fought hard for about 33 minutes of tonights forty. Davion Mintz was our best player on the court, and Olivier Sarr had a top-five personal game in his short Kentucky career. Dontaie Allen did his thing, hitting four of his seven three point attempts, as the three combined for 36 of Kentucky's 59 points. Mintz continues to make his case to be our starting point guard, as Devin Askew is reverting and isn't helpful to this team at all. Askew managed to only score 2 points in 24 minutes, and reportedly is 0/13 shooting in his last 88 minutes of play, via @CoreyP08 on Twitter. He's actively hurting us on offense and needs to come off the bench going forward.
One of the most surprising stats on the evening is that the Wildcats held Alabama to only 6 made threes on their 20 attempts, as they ranked third in the country for most made threes a game. Finding them on a 'cold' shooting night was the only way Kentucky had a shot at winning this one, which is ultimately why it came down to the final 3 minutes, before free-throws let it get out of hand.
Kentucky led by two at the final TV timeout (3:57 mark), and then they let Alabama go on a 18-5 run to cap off the game. A convincing fight just to fall to pieces in the final minutes. The motto of the season that I will forever think of this team by: Kentucky beat themselves.
Alabama sweeps Kentucky on the season for the first time since 1989.
Kentucky has now found their 10th loss in fifteen games this season, and will face the No.5 ranked Texas Longhorns this Saturday...
Something to think about as Kentucky continues their toughest part of the season: