Kentucky Basketball: First Half Notes Versus Duquesne

Kentucky Basketball first half notes show the Cats rebounding better, getting points in the paint, both of which were points of emphasis for tonight’s game

Nov 20, 2016; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Wenyen Gabriel (32) takes the ball to the basket against Duquesne Dukes forward Isiaha Mike (45) in the first half at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Points of emphasis coming into tonight’s game centered on production in the paint, both rebounding, where Kentucky has arguably lacked intensity, and post scoring. We won’t say points in the paint, because Kentucky has been dominating that stat in three games this season due to transition points, lobs and guard penetration. However, true post up points have been less than desired and needs improvement. One word of caution on that statement, however, has been Bam Adebayo landing in foul trouble in two games this season. So it will be key to see if the big freshman can stay out of foul trouble and log the minutes to get a true sense of his production.

At the half, Kentucky has out rebounded Duquesne 26-18, allowing only four offensive boards for the Dukes, while crashing the offensive glass 7 times. Adebayo has 4 (1-3) rebounds, Wenyen Gabriel 3 (1-2), Isaac Humphries 2 (0-2) and Sacha Killeya-Jones and Derek Willis 1 each. De’Aaron Fox leads the Cats with 5 boards, Isaiah Briscoe has 3, and Mychal Mulder has 4 (3-1), logging 7 minutes, primarily in relief of Malik Monk who sat with foul trouble. GAME STATS

Adebayo leads the way in post points with 8 points in 13 minutes of play, and Adebayo has been active on both sides of the floor, showing why he’s likely to be a NBA Lottery pick next spring. SKJ has 2 points, Humprhies has 2, Gabriel has 2 and Willis added in a stretch 3 on an inside-out kick from Briscoe-that’s a guard on the low block kicking to a stretch 4, a UK take on the traditional inside-out game.

Beyond the emphasis on the bigs, Kentucky’s backcourt has been as advertised, with Fox leading all scorers with 12 points, along with 4 assists and his 5 boards, working on a potential triple-double. Briscoe has 9 points, while Monk had 7 of Kentucky’s first 11 points on 3-5 shooting. Mulder gave good minutes in relief, chipping in 5 points and a ridiculous dunk on a lob.

It’s looking good so far from Rupp Arena.

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