Reeves, Tshiebwe, Wallace Thrive In Win Versus Auburn
Kentucky showcased today what we had seen flashes of: elite basketball. The Cats have established the attention of basketball enthusiasts across the country today in large part due to the performance by Antonio Reeves.
Reeves finished with 21 total points and 18 of which were in the first half. With Auburn using plenty of their gameplan to slow down freshman Chris Livingston after back-to-back double doubles, tonight was the perfect opportunity to get the ball to your wings and get shots to fall. Reeves left the court today with a +/- of 40 points.
Oscar Tshiebwe looked like vintage Oscar Tshiebwe to begin the game, going toe-to-toe with Johni Broome in what looked like was going to be a physical, down low game. In the second half, Broome went on to shoot 0-4 from the field while Oscar began to dominate, opening up chances for Antonio Reeves to take over. Oscar finished the game with 22 points on 8-10 shooting while pulling down 17 rebounds. With another extraordinary performance by freshman phenom Cason Wallace, everything seemed to click.
Cason Wallace racked up 9 assists on 3 turnovers and recorded 19 points. As we are finished with February play, we can assume Cason can and WILL become the backbone of the Wildcats going into March. Cason had a team high of a 42 +/-, and 4 steals. He established a quick burst into several fast breaks for the Wildcats today as well.
What does Calipari appoint the success of the team against Auburn to? CJ Fredrick. In his postgame, John Calipari said that both Fredrick and Adou Thiero looked good and that the difference between this game and many others is the teams ability to hit three point shots. We heard all offseason about the importance of bringing in Reeves and Fredrick to shoot the ball. If Kentucky can continue anything close to this level of success moving forward, expect the Cats to go far in the tournament.