Kentucky fought against the officials and sloppy play all game. At the end of the first half they were up 37-30 despite the rough play to that point.
The Cats never pulled away, but they always kept the lead at an arms-length. And the Vols were never able to come back. This was UK’s first win in Thompson-Boling Arena since 2015.
The game was essentially over when Immanuel Quickley hit this dagger three late in the game:
Fun Fact: Kentucky has never won the National Championship in a season that they lost in Knoxville.
Next up, Kentucky will travel to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores Tuesday night.
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers
Kentucky has gotten lazy with the ball and it’s just flat out unacceptable.
Ashton Hagans has become the worst turnover culprit on the team, but it’s not just him. Whether it’s lazy passes, bad charge calls, or taking a step before dribbling, the turnovers are a problem for the Cats.
There are two to three guards on the floor at a time for UK, so that’s why so many turnovers is unacceptable. These are supposed to be the guys that keep the ball safe.
I can appreciate aggressiveness and sometimes it works out well. But right now, all it’s doing is hurting Kentucky.
Fulkerson is the newest hated Vol
There’s always at least one Vol that the Big Blue Nation irrationally Hayes and this year, it’s John Fulkerson.
Fulkerson has taken Grant Williams’ place for biggest flopper in the SEC. He truly is the king of drawing fouls when nothing happened.
He’s the worst.
Juzang has a career game
Johnny Juzang came ready to play against the Vols. While he didn’t need much to break his career high in scoring, he more than doubled it this time around.
Juzang looked confident taking shots and he even attacked the basket a couple of times. We finally saw that smooth stroke that we’ve been waiting for.
At 6-7, Juzang has the ability to get his shot off against almost anybody and his continued development is pivotal for Kentucky both this year and in the coming years.
Maxey loves the road environment
It’s no secret that Tyrese Maxey loves the big stage and that includes road games. I don’t know what it is, but Maxey thrives under pressure.
He’s not the most efficient guy on the court, but when he’s hot, he’s smoking. Whether it be the midrange pull-up or floater in the lane, Maxey has unique abilities in attacking the basket and stopping on a dime.
He has a long way to go, especially to live up to his lottery-pick expectations, but when he’s got it going, it’s fun to watch.
All in all, this was a good win for the Cats on the road against a rival. This was a tough road environment, despite Tennessee being somewhat down this season.
Kentucky got the job done and that’s all you can ask.