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A postmortem after a scrimmage? Well, why not? This is Kentucky, n’est ce pas?
It was good to see a fully healthy Terrance Jones, and what a factor he can be. His arms are obscenely long, and he handles the ball like a young Magic Johnson. The kid has size, he runs the floor, he is a difference-maker.
Brandon Knight was exactly what he has been for the last three years — terrific. He was great before he came to Kentucky, and he continues to get better and better. Tonight, he was terrific again, particularly from the outside, but he was almost equally amazing going to the rim.
More B/W game observations:
DeAndre Liggins is just a defensive monster. He has crazy long arms and an intensity that is currently unequaled. If his offense ever catches up, look out.
The ballhandling was surprisingly good, overall. It got sloppy in the second half, but I think fatigue was the major factor.
Doron Lamb is just amazing. He doesn’t look like he’s that good, and then he’ll amaze you. He plays the game in a mesmerizing way, he doesn’t look fast until he lays the ball in and his defender is two steps behind.
Eloy Vargas needs work. All JUCOs seem to need work.
Jon Hood really had some good moments. And some bad ones. But I liked the way he improved as the game went on.
Stacey Poole is going to take a while to become effective. He is just a cut below these guys at the moment.
Jarrod Polson is a really sound player. I think he will play some this year.
- The game lacked cohesion and flow. Not really surprising at this point.
- Josh Harrellson had over 20 rebounds. Wouldn’t it be nice if he could do that against SEC competition?
- Darius Miller did less than I expected, but he shot the ball pretty well.
- Free throw shooting stank, but I think that was a function of the pace, conditioning, and lack of subs. It wasn’t all that, there are some form issues, but I am not convinced that is what we will see all year.
- I loved the pace. I’m not so sure I loved the sets, but I did see a number of pick and rolls.
Overall, I saw what I expected, but I am really encouraged by how good the defense was at times. Yes, the scrimmage had a lot of ragged and head-shaking moments, but no more so than normal. This is a talented group of players top to bottom, and every single player is capable of contributing something in games this year.
Overall, I liked what I saw. There is work to be done, but the skill is maybe better even than last year. The physical ability maybe not so much, but the skill is surprisingly high.