LEXINGTON – October 27, 2019 – Noah Banks – Bluegrass Sports Nation
Kentucky hit the floor for the first time in the 2019-2020 season on Sunday evening in an 80-53 rout over the Georgetown Tigers in a friendly exhibition game.
While the Cats lit up the scoreboard and seemed to dominate the game in almost every aspect, three things stuck out to me, in no particular order:
Rebounding is a Problem
While we have known all along that the Cats would have struggles with post play this season while trying to replace P.J Washington and Reid Travis, rebounding seems to be the biggest of those struggles. The Tigers out rebounded the Cats with a total of 45-39 in the exhibition. Granted, Nick Richards left the game early in the 2nd half with an ankle injury, but the remaining big guys still struggled down low. Kentucky, the preseason number 2 team in the nation, got out rebounded by an NAIA school. Got to improve there.
Ashton Hagans is the
Ashton tossed in 14 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, dropped 6 times, and picked up 4 steals in just 24 minutes of play on the night. Additionally, something that the scorebook can’t measure is the kid’s leadership. Earlier in the pre-season during a media event Hagans made a comment saying it was “his team” and his team it is. Being a leader both on and off the floor is a role he has embraced this off-season and is thriving in so far.
New year, New Immanuel Quickley
After having his ups and downs in the 2018-2019 season, Immanuel Quickley looked to improve his game in all areas, but most specifically shooting. He got off to a hot start by scoring 7 of the Cats first 9 points and finished the night as the leading scorer for Kentucky by chipping in 16 points on 5-7 FG, 3-4 3PT, and 3-4 FT. Not only is he filling up the stat sheet, but he is also filled with confidence which is an intangible that could be a key to the Cats success.
Kentucky will take the court next against Kentucky State in another exhibition this Friday November 1st, at 7pm in Rupp Arena.