I know the title to this article is corny. It was a poor attempt on wordplay to use “Centre” in a different way. However, there’s some truth to it.
Kentucky beat Centre last evening 106-63 in an exhibition at Rupp Arena in the beautiful city of Lexington, KY. The Big Blue Nation showed up (not as much as a regular season game), but that doesn’t surprise me. The Centre fans were loud and proud… similar to when Morehead State played the Cats.
Centre came out and played hard. They played without fear and gave it all they had. Greg Mason, Centre’s head coach, mentioned after the game how proud he was of his guys. Coach Cal and the University of Kentucky has done an incredible job inviting schools like Morehead State and Centre college into Rupp Arena to help with their exposure. It’s a beautiful thing, and, in my opinion, it shows how giving Coach Cal is.
I know you’ve heard Coach Cal say ‘we’ve got a long way to go’ countless times when referring to his teams during exhibition play. Well, last night was no different. However, I at least was impressed with many things last night, but one thing stood out to me over everything else. Kentucky’s PJ Washington and Nick Richards could have abused Centre downlow all night long. Kentucky’s ‘center’ position and overall height was so much greater than Centre. With that being said, Kentucky’s scoring came from Gabriel with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Wenyen Gabriel stepped up big! He hit 8-11 shooting which is exactly what someone like Gabriel needs for his confidence. Quade Green added 18 points and five assists. So a lot of Kentucky’s leading scorers last night proved that it wasn’t just about the center… it was a complete team effort. I talked to a fan after the game, and he said to me, “Andrew… this team doesn’t have a star player like previous years…” Understanding where he’s coming from, I thought about it and said, “Maybe that’s what we need.”
This Kentucky team is going to be different than any other Kentucky team we’ve seen. We’re going to get some highlight reels of Diallo dunking, PJ Washington bodying people downlow, and Quade breaking ankles on a drive… but I’m hoping… we don’t get one player standing out this year… but we get a team standing out… holding a National Championship trophy.