Kentucky Basketball: The Good, Bad & Weird of Upset Loss at Notre Dame

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Kentucky Basketball: The Good, Bad & Weird of Upset Loss at Notre Dame
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

For anyone that thought John Calipari's statements about this team's potential growing pains were just "coach speak," evidence to the contrary was experienced tonight in South Bend. The Wildcats were outplayed on both ends of the court, making Notre Dame look like a legitimate NCAA tournament team while casting quite a bit of doubt about this young team's ability to play (and win) away from Rupp Arena.

 

The Good

  • Julius Mays often found himself as the sole reason the Wildcats had any chance of staying in the game. While the rest of the team struggled to shoot from the outside, Mays for 4-of-7 from behind the arc while leading Kentucky with 16 points.
  • Yep...that's about it...

 

The Bad

  • The Wildcats often looked flat-footed and reactionary on defense, allowing the Notre Dame offense to operate at will. Most of the Irish's points also came from the post, a place where the Wildcats should have had a definite advantage.
  • Archie Goodwin's strides in the last few games at keeping his game under control took a giant step back tonight. He may have only turned the ball over twice (compared to five assists), but he also often tried to force himself into the lane when it clearly wasn't open. Goodwin ended up with only three points on 1-of-7 shooting.
  • Alex Poythress, who had been on an offensive tear the last few games, only managed to score three points.
  • Kyle Wiltjer's recent shooting troubles continued; he was 2-of-7 for six points.
  • Foul trouble plagued Kentucky in the first half, which helped lead to an early deficit that they were never able to overcome. Alex Poythress picked up his second foul with 14:33 to go in the second half, while Archie Goodwin picked up his at the 4:35 mark.
  • The Wildcats were 4-of-14 from behind the arc (28.6 percent), compared to 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) for the Irish.

 

The Weird

  • When the Wildcats trailed 36-25 at the half, it was the largest halftime deficit that they had faced since last year's game at Mississippi State (h/t Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald-Leader).
  • If you're a Wildcat fan, you're probably feeling pretty bad right now...but you can at least take solace in the fact that your school doesn't pass out cheer sheets like this one that Notre Dame gives to its student section (h/t KentuckySportsRadio.com).

 

All stats via ESPN.com


Please also feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. 

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