Kentucky has been one of the teams to beat this season. Coach Calipari and company are looking for the program’s 9th national championship. Can Malik Monk and the rest of the gang get it done in the tournament?
High power offense has been Kentucky’s middle name all season long. The wildcats rank #2 in points per game, #3 in field goals made per game, and #9 in offensive rebounds per game. Even against UNC, who has one of the most complete teams in the nation, the Wildcats put up 103 points in regulation. They have 15 games in which they have scored over 90 points. This team can rank up some points.
Kentucky is also one of the best transition teams in the country. With the backcourt of Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox that seems to be able to outrun anybody, it feels like they could score in transition every possession if they wanted to. Those two alone combine for an average of 36 points every game. With Kentucky, it’s always off to the races!
Kentucky is a team that wins games on offense. They rank 104th in opponent’s shooting percentage, 177th in opponents points per game, and 125 in opponent’s offensive rebounds per game. While usually they can simply outscore an opponent, if they encounter a rough shooting night (like when they visited #10 Louisville) they could be sent home.
In typical Calipari form, many of the Wildcats this year are NBA bound freshman. This results in a very inexperienced team. Eight of the Kentucky’s 15 team members are freshman. Four of their starting five are freshman (and the fifth is Isaiah Briscoe, the sophomore). This could be a problem for Kentucky if they go up against a squad that has been there before.
Photo Credits: ukathletics.com