5 takeaways from Kentucky’s win over Houston
The Cats survived another close game and advanced to the Elite Eight for the 7th time since Calipari has been at Kentucky. Here are my takeaways from the game.
- Don’t question PJ’s toughness again- It was unclear how many minutes PJ would play last night or even if he would play at all. He answered that question by coming of the bench with one of the toughest performances I can remember seeing. He scored 16 points in 26 minutes and was the go to player down the stretch. He came up with a huge block in the final minute of the game, which led to the game winning shot by Herro. After the game it was clear he was in a lot of pain but he seemed to be determined to play in the game tomorrow. Hopefully with some treatment and rest he can reduce the pain and be good to go. Either way, the gutty performance last night should be enough to silence any critics questioning his toughness.
- Tyler Herro has the clutch gene- After a low scoring game against Wofford, Tyler stepped up and led the Cats in scoring against Houston. He uncharacteristically missed a free throw on the front end of a one and one but you just knew he would get a chance to redeem himself. That opportunity came with 28 seconds left on the clock when he hoisted up a three from the elbow in front of Kentucky’s bench. That shot hit the bottom of the net to put the Cats in the lead for good. He also drained two free throws to put Kentucky ahead by 4 to seal the win. The kid absolutely has ice water in his veins.
- Immanuel Quickley was the unsung hero- With Hagans in foul trouble for most of the first half, Immanuel stepped up big. He ran the offense very well and also hit a couple big 3’s in the game. As a matter of fact, Kentucky looked more in sync offensively when he was on the floor last night. Without Immanuel I don’t think Kentucky wins the game last night.
- Reid Travis is a warrior- He may have only scored 6 points but his 11 rebounds were huge. He plays as hard as any player that has worn the blue and white. He seems absolutely determined to get this team to the Final Four in his home town. He is the back bone of this team.
- A third win over Auburn will not come easily- The Cats have beaten the Tigers twice but no team in the country is hotter than Auburn right now. The Tigers lost their star forward Chuma Okeke, when he went down with a knee injury last night. His absence will hurt the Tigers but they have the depth to overcome it, especially if they continue to be red hot from beyond the arc. Auburn has not lost a game since Kentucky blew them out by 27 point in Rupp Arena. If the Cats want to go to the Final Four, they are going to have to scratch and claw their way past the Tigers.
Stay tuned to us on twitter and Facebook this afternoon because we will be interviewing the players about the upcoming game with Auburn. Till then, just enjoy that win!