Kentucky Basketball: First Half Notes Versus Arizona State

Kentucky Basketball: First half notes versus Arizona State point to a lack of competition and another dominating half of basketball from the Wildcats

January 23, 2016; Stanford, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Bobby Hurley instructs during the second half against the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal defeated the Sun Devils 75-73. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky coach John Calipari welcomed the game versus Bobby Hurley’s Arizona State. He welcomed some challenge; he welcomed a dog fight. Well, so much for that. The score is one thing, as we knew Kentucky was better coming in. But the contradiction in effort is remarkable. Kentucky is out-hustling and out-scrapping the team captained by Hurley, the former Dukie known for just that. So far, it’s all Cats, in every way, and it ain’t even close.

Kentucky leads 58-30, as eight Wildcats have got into the scoring column already in what is shaping up to be a monstrous blowout in the Bahamas. De’Aaron Fox leads the way with 10 points, while Bam Adebayo has been in straight Beast Mode all night, dunking his way to 9 first half points. Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe also have 9 apiece, while Derek Willis has 7, Wenyen Gabriel 6, Dominique Hawkins 5 and Isaac Humprhies has 3.

The Cats have been their usual lethal self in transition, getting easy buckets on the break – at an often ridiculous pace at times, with possession lasting mere seconds ending in easy layups or dunks. Fox and Briscoe each have 5 assists, while Monk has 3, as Kentucky has shared the basketball well once again.

Fox, playing a remarkable game thus far, also leads the team with 9 rebounds (8 defensive), and could be on his way to a triple-double. Adebayo and Gabriel each have 5 boards, while Wills and Humphries have 3 apiece. As a team, Kentucky has a whopping 30-14 rebounding advantage.

The Cats have forced 11 first half turnovers for the Sun Devils, while committing only 6. Kentucky is shooting 53-percent from the field, and the Cats have hit 7-9 from the free throw line. Kentucky has 28 points in the paint.

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Kentucky is firing on all cylinders to be sure, and BBN loves a good blowout. However, Calipari wanted, and fans can appreciate the need for, a close game for this young team. Arizona State won’t be the one to give it to us, and it’s pretty disappointing thus far.

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