LEXINGTON, Ky. — If you follow him on Twitter, you might’ve heard that SEC Country’s Kentucky basketball beat writer has twin babies. In which case, you probably also know they celebrated their first birthday Sunday it was an over-the-top shindig with much cake smashed into tiny faces.
Oh, and the Wildcats walloped Missouri to extend their winning streak to three games and turn up the volume on the idea this young team has figured it out and started to click just in time for postseason play. Kentucky has beaten Alabama, Arkansas and Mizzou by double digits in the last week and a half.
So how good are these Cats and what’s working so well? Kyle joins host Curtis Burch to talk about that — and baby birthdays — on the latest episode of Wildcat Country, your daily UK podcast presented by SEC Country. The rundown:
- Kevin Knox, in a bit of a surprise, talked to reporters after scoring a game-high 21 points against the Tigers. That performance was impressive, given his stressful week, and he was equally poised in the postgame media scrum as he was peppered with questions about whether he knew or ever met with agent Christian Dawkins, as was reported by Yahoo Sports on Friday.
- Good for Hamidou Diallo, the 5-star freshman who had been struggling mightily, saw his minutes slashed and took heavy criticism from fans and media alike. He had a redemption game against the Tigers: made all three of his 3-point tries, threw down a monster dunk, produced 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists (his first since late January!), a block and a steal. Afterward, he got an ovation from teammates and a hug from John Calipari. Kentucky still needs him, so that was significant.
- While Diallo’s outburst was nice, the Cats stayed hot mostly because of the five-man combination that Calipari has gone heavy with over the last three games: Quade Green, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Knox, PJ Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt. Those five are averaging 68.3 points and 30 rebounds during the winning streak, while opponents (entire teams) are averaging 69.7 points and 29.3 rebounds. That’ll do.
- Oh, and Jarred Vanderbilt continues to be a freak show on the glass. He had 11 points and 15 rebounds in a career-high 27 minutes Saturday. He’s averaging almost 19 boards per 40 minutes this season. It is absurd.
Game on. pic.twitter.com/RG3SJ3CMc5
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) February 25, 2018