The University of Kentucky Wildcats moved to 7-1 on the season with a 79-70 victory over the Ivy League Harvard Crimsons. Kentucky used a 13-0 run to get the lead up to 20 midway through the second half and was able to hold on for the 9 point win despite Harvard shooting 12-28 (42.9%) from three-point range (Cats were a dismal 2-14).
Kevin Knox led the way with 20 points on 7-13 shooting and grabbed 7 rebounds. Hamidou Diallo added 19 points and 6 rebounds. Nick Richards added 9 points and 7 boards. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 12 points and was 8-8 from the FT line. Kentucky outrebounded Harvard 37-36. Seth Towns led Harvard with 25 points.
Overall, the young Cats played good, but not great. For every stretch of great basketball, there was an equal stretch of what head coach John Calipari called “losing basketball.” After the 13-0 run in the second half, the Cats let Harvard right back into the game by giving up an 8-0 run and going scoreless for over 4 minutes.
In the post-game press conference, Coach Calipari flatly stated, “I’m asking them to do the impossible, but that’s my job.” Cal stated that the Cats need games like this to push them to be better. Cal is looking forward to his infamous holiday break Camp Cal to give the team the opportunity to work and get better. “These are good guys and they want to learn.”
Nine years into John Calipari’s tenure in Lexington, the Big Blue Nation should know what to expect. His teams will be young and talented and sometimes that inexperience will show through. What should also be expected is the improvement his teams show throughout the season. At this point, the team is better than they were last week and we hope they’ll be even better in March.