By James Blackburn
Team Report/ Game Notes
Kentucky made an early season trip down to Chapel Hill to take on the struggling UNC Tar Heels. The game was tight throughout and, in my opinion, was one of the best games of this young college basketball season so far. Carolina played well and got the big win 75-73. It will be interesting to see how Kentucky bounces back after this early let down and to see how they can cope after losing 5 players last season to the NBA. Here are a few notes, observations, and thoughts from Kentucky.
- Kentucky had serious foul trouble this game- Knight, Jones, Harrellson, and Vargas fouled out.
- Kentucky does not have a lot of depth, especially at the forward and center positions.
- Kentucky really needs an interior presence- they are lacking a true shot blocker. Terrence Jones is a solid defender and shot blocker, but is only 6’8”. In order to make a deep run in March, Kentucky really needs Enes Kanter to become eligible. (Note- Kentucky requested reexamination of his eligibility on Friday)
- Kentucky is wishing Daniel Orton would have stayed around for another year- and after watching Orton this summer in Orlando and his struggles, I am sure Orton is thinking the same thing.
- Kentucky is a good shooting team- better than last season.
- Kentucky spreads the court well and has excellent spacing to run the DD motion offense.
- Kentucky does a good job of penetrating and kicking for open shots. They are also very dangerous in transition.
Doron Lamb, 6’4”, G, Kentucky
Lamb had one of his best games of this year and continues to excel in all areas. He is true PG with excellent vision, good ball handling abilities and a good assist/TO ratio. He is a smart PG who always seems to make the right decision. He takes good shots and does not force the issue. He is a good floor general and makes a lot of good decisions and reads that don’t show up in the box score. He plays under control and is very poised. He is also an excellent shooter and a good rebounder. He is a good P/R player (especially w/ Jones) and that should translate to the L. He is not the most athletic or the quickest player but his good should translate to the NBA with out any problems. The question is how long does he stay at Kentucky, considering the history of young PG’s leaving Coach Cal for the NBA and excelling ( Rose, Evans, Wall).
Brandon Knight, 6’3”, G, Kentucky
Good scorer and a good shooter w/ 3 pt. range. Solid outing from the high-ranking freshman today, but fouled out late in the second half. Very quick first step.
Terrence Jones, 6’8”, F, Kentucky
Not a great game today from Jones, showed flashes of brilliance, but was limited because of foul trouble. Jones is a strong, athletic lefty, who has a good face up game with the ability to shoot the midrange or pump fake and put the ball on the floor and get to the basket, where he finishes strong. He has a smooth looking jumper and has a good FT stroke. He needs to do a better job recognizing double teams and needs to become a better passer. He also tends to force the issue sometimes and gets in trouble, which is natural for most freshmen. He is explosive going left, but struggles when going right. He is NBA ready right now, and should be picked no later than #10 in the upcoming NBA draft. If he continues to play well, he could easily find his way into the top 5 next season. His game is meant for the NBA, and he excels in P/R and Pick and Pop situations.
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