Despite an exhausted roster due to injury, the Kentucky Wildcats continued their strong play through the non-conference season with an 80-55 victory over Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena.
Oscar Tshiebwe and TyTy Washington combined for 26 of Kentucky’s 38 points in the first half as the Wildcats used a hot night of shooting to beat St. Mary’s in all phases of the game.
Oh, and someone bet $ 220,000 on Kentucky to cover the 24.5 point spread. These last few minutes must have been an unprecedented level of stress for this soul.
If you missed out on the action, here are the four things you need to know about winning Kentucky.
Buy Oscar Tshiebwe shares
Not only did Tshiebwe get off to a quick start as a rebounder, but he also showed a new improved midrange jumper on Tuesday night and is now considered a legitimate goalscorer, both at post and against the basket within the British offensive. .
The West Virginia transfer ended with a career-high 24 points, including 14 in the first half, and was once again the most physical player on the pitch as he managed to find his way to ‘to 16 rebounds.
In the first three games of the season, Tshiebwe has been the heart and soul of this team as his stock continues to climb as a potential. NBA Draft to take.
The injury virus hit the Wildcats hard last week as CJ Fredrick was lost for the season and Jacob Toppin (shoulder) and Lance Ware (ankle) missed Tuesday’s game and are listed day to day for a possible return. Both offer some interior depth behind Tshiebwe, so Collins, a true freshman, was the only big man available on the bench against the Mountaineers and scored just two points.
With just nine stock players available, Keion Brooks stepped up his defense and managed seven first-half rebounds in 13 minutes of action. The big question is: what’s going on with Jacob Toppin’s injury?
The 6-foot-9 forward was last in the loss to Duke after missing part of the preseason with a lingering shoulder injury. Toppin is a crucial piece for this year’s squad and as he expected to fight for a starting spot as Kentucky prepares for players like our Lady, Ohio state and Louisville to close December.
Wheeler and Washington are both set to play a ton of minutes this season, and each won Tuesday night against St. Mary’s. Once again, Wheeler was exceptional in transition, reaching for the basket and finding open teammates, as Washington warmed up from the inside, moving to 2/3 of the three-point range to go with a few floats in transition. to finish with 14 points.
Grady, who led the team in scorers in a recent victory over Robert Morris, didn’t even attempt a shot in the first half and finished with just eight points.
With Frederick out for the season, Davion Mintz, Bryce Hopkins and Dontaie Allen will need to step up their efforts to provide depth in the backcourt or United Kingdom John Calipari will be forced to play Wheeler and Washington for more than 35 minutes or deploy larger queues. .
Kentucky stayed with their starting lineup of Wheeler, Washington, Grady, Brooks and Tshiebwe, while Collins and Mintz ran a lot early. With Ware and Toppin on the mend, Bryce Hopkins is set to see more minutes as Dontaie Allen still remains the Strange Man as the last man on the rotation for the first three games.
Allen, who has struggled defensively, played five minutes at the team’s lowest in the first half on Tuesday night but should have ample opportunity to prove he’s an improved defender during the non-conference schedule.
Kentucky, 2-1, returns to action Friday night at home against Ohio University.
Now let’s talk about the victory!