The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Kentucky's Win Against Auburn

02/10/2013 07:26 PM

We take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from Kentucky’s game against Auburn.

The Good

  • Kentucky won against a team that was determined to play physical and not let up, no matter how quickly the fouls were piling up. Pretty sure some Auburn players used a couple of wrestling moves to take Julius Mays to the floor, but Mays popped back up and kept on playing. There were only a few moments throughout the game that the Wildcats seemed rattled, but Kentucky took what Auburn was giving them and made lemonade out of lemons. Which brings us to…
  • Free throw shooting! The Cats were at the free throw line 38 times and made 26 of those. Shooting a high percentage at the line can only help the Wildcats as more and more teams will try to take advantage of Kentucky’s youth by playing physical and committing the fouls. Now, whether the Cats can keep this up on the road in a hostile environment, like say Florida, is another story.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein played 19 minutes and was a perfect five for five on field goals. He was a little rusty from the free throw line, but his twelve points greatly helped the Cats get the victory. Cauley-Stein may not be back in pre-surgery form, but he’s on his way.
  • Most importantly, Kentucky got the win. The Wildcats are now on a five-game win streak. It wasn’t always easy or pretty, but they are winning and winning consistently. This is the longest win streak the Cats have had this season. Even during the non-conference schedule, Kentucky only put together a four-game win streak during December leading up the UofL game. Back to the current streak, two wins came on the road with the other three at Rupp. This should give the Cats some confidence in closing out the schedule, despite some tough games coming up including Florida twice and Missouri.

The Bad

  • Alex Poythress only scored eight points. This is definitely becoming a broken record, but the Cats need him to get more buckets than fouls. For the record, against Auburn, Poythress scored three field goals and committed four personal fouls.
  • Kyle Wiltjer was four for 11 from the field, scoring 14 points. Not bad, but this team has so little margin of error that they need Wiltjer to score more, especially from behind the three-point line. Against the Tigers, he was two of six from three. A few more threes would open up the offense and put the game away earlier in the second half.

The Ugly

  • Archie Goodwin played 17 minutes and scored exactly one field goal. He added another point on a free throw. His three-point performance hurt the Wildcats, since they need him to drive, pull up, and score easy jumpers. While Kentucky had five players in double digits scoring, the Cats need Archie to be one of them.
  • Goodwin’s altercation with Auburn player Jordon Granger resulted in Goodwin receiving two personal fouls and Granger receiving a flagrant two, for what it looked like throwing a punch. Coach John Calipari wants his team to be tough, scrappy and play with energy, but this was one moment that the energy and toughness boiled over. It was a freshman mistakes, but one that needs to be reeled in, especially considering Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri will be pushing the same buttons Auburn did.


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