Kentucky earned their first ranked victory of the season over Tennessee, and did so in dominant fashion. The Cats showed out for a packed and loud Rupp Arena crowd with a 107 point scoring performance and a 28 point blowout win over their border rivals.
Oscar Tshiebwe once again dominated the paint, with veterans Davion Mintz and Kellan Grady providing efficient scoring and 3 point shooting on the wing. But without a doubt, the MVP's of the game were our point guards.
The freshman TyTy Washington put up a career high 28 points on 10/13 shooting, 5 assists, and 3 steals, while his counterpart Sahvir Wheeler had 21 points on 8/10 shooting, 8 assists, and 2 steals.
Even more impressive, they did it against a ranked opponent and one of the best defenses in the country. Tennessee entered the game as the 2nd best defensive team in the nation (KenPom), and have also never given up 100 points under coach Rick Barnes.
Each having such great individual performances in what was a dominant team win, it is easy to start gaining confidence. Immediately following the game, both Sahvir and TyTy expressed their strong faith in this team moving forward.
Sahvir thinks that we can see this dominance consistently and that it wasn't just a fluke performance. "I think we could be like this on most nights. We are not going to be having too many more L's on us for the rest of the year."
TyTy continues on this new confidence that the team is finding, now seeing that they can be dominant against top teams as well. "I feel like we proved not only to other people, but to ourselves, that you know we can play with anybody in the country."
This dominant play and high confidence could not be coming at a better time for Kentucky. Next week, the Cats travel to 2 hostile road environments to take on Texas A&M and Auburn, the only 2 remaining undefeated teams in SEC play. If Kentucky can come away with a pair of wins, they would not only be the best team in the SEC, but a top 5 team in the country and a nationally recognized championship contender.