Five things you need to know from Kentucky’s 76-64 win over Southern

Alex Slitz/aslitz@herald-leader.com
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Sean Woods
    American basketball player-coach
  • John Calipari
    John Calipari
    American college basketball coach
  • Oscar Tshiebwe
    Congolese basketball player

Five things you need to know from the No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats’ 76-64 win over the Southern Jaguars at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center:

1. Cats play through adversity. Foul trouble to Kentucky’s three best players gave the Wildcats a chance to test themselves vs. adversity.

Freshman star TyTy Washington played only six minutes in the first half after picking up two quick fouls. Rebounding maven Oscar Tshiebwe soon followed Washington to the bench with his second foul, and logged only 10 first-half minutes.

Washington and Tshiebwe drawing so much first-half pine time played a role in UK leading only 38-34 at halftime.

There was more foul trouble to come for the Wildcats.

Point guard Sahvir Wheeler drew three quick fouls in the first 4:49 of the second half and had to sit.

Not even a minute later, Tshiebwe drew his third and also headed back to the bench.

It was not until 9:37 left in the game that UK Coach John Calipari reinserted Wheeler and Tshiebwe.

Down the stetch, Tshiebwe scored 12 points, en route to the seventh double-double (23 points, 11 boards plus four blocked shots) of his eight-game UK career.

Washington finished with 14 points and five assists, Wheeler with eight points, four rebounds and six assists.

2. Mintz returns. After missing Kentucky’s games with Albany, North Florida and Central Michigan due to illness, super-senior Davion Mintz returned for UK (7-1) on Tuesday night.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound super-senior came back firing, as Mintz took nine shots, seven three-point attempts in 16 minutes of clock.

Mintz hit two treys, three of five free throws and finished with nine points and five rebounds in his return.

3. A Cats-Cards look ahead? If you are the kind who likes to compare scores, Southern was an interesting opponent.

The Jaguars opened their season against Louisville at the KFC Yum Center.

Interestingly, Southern lost at U of L by 12 after trailing by only two at the half.

The Jags lost at UK by 12 after trailing by only four at the half.

4. Another “L” for an ex-Cat vs. the Cats. With the Southern defeat, Sean Woods is 0-4 vs. his college alma mater as a head coach.

Since World War II, ex-Kentucky players are now 12-48 as head coaches going against the Cats.

The numbers:

C.M. Newton 10-32 (7-19 at Alabama; 3-13 at Vanderbilt); Walter McCarty 1-0 (Evansville); John Pelphrey 1-3 (Arkansas); Winston Bennett 0-1 (Kentucky State); Mark Pope 0-1 (Utah Valley); Kyle Macy 0-3 (Morehead State); Travis Ford 0-4 (0-3 Eastern Kentucky; 0-1 Massachusetts); Woods 0-4 (0-2 at Mississippi Valley State; 0-1 Morehead State; 0-1 Southern).

5. “Cupcake season” winds down. If you feel like the Kentucky schedule after the Wildcats opened with Duke in the Champions Classic has been unusually weak, there is ample evidence to support that.

Other than Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils (7-1), the teams (records through games of Monday night) UK has played so far are a combined 16-42. Take out Ohio University (6-2), and the teams the Wildcats have played in Rupp Arena are a combined 10-40.

In addition to Duke and Ohio, UK has faced Robert Morris (0-7), Mount St. Mary’s (3-6), Albany (1-6), North Florida (2-8), Central Michigan (1-7) and Southern 3-6.

If the NCAA Tournament began today (and, obviously, it doesn’t), Kentucky would have a Quad One loss, a Quad Three win and six Quad Four wins.

The good news for an exasperated UK fan base is that the remaining Kentucky non-league games will be more attractive. The Wildcats will play: at Notre Dame (3-4); vs. Ohio State (6-2) in Las Vegas; vs. Louisville (6-2); vs. High Point (4-4) for the Tubby Smith jersey retirement; and at Kansas (6-1).

Kentucky perseveres as Southern provides a challenge in Unity Series opener

Box score from Kentucky basketball’s victory over Southern

First Scouting Report: Is Kentucky ready for a road test at Notre Dame?

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting