Kentucky vs. Marshall: Wildcats Come out Strong After Break, Beat Herd 82-54

Nick NafpliotisCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2012

Dec 22, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) dribbles the ball around Marshall Thundering Herd center Nigel Spikes (11) at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports Images

The University of Kentucky Wildcats still don't look like they're ready to climb back into the Top 10, but they definitely look better than they did a month ago.

Lead by Ryan Harrow's best game of the season by far and a much more aggressive, attacking defense, the Wildcats were able to blow through the Marshall Thundering Herd 82-54 as a final tune-up/confidence builder before their looming showdown with their arch-rival Louisville Cardinals.


The Good

  • It was already mentioned above, but Ryan Harrow put his offensive capabilities on full display, scoring 23 points (10-of-17 shooting) to go along with four assists. He also looked even more comfortable and settled in at the point, which is a very good sign for the Wildcats heading into their December 29 showdown with the Cardinals.
  • Nerlens Noel was had his usual all-around productive game, scoring 11 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two blocks. Surprisingly, however, this was his first career double-double.
  • Except for a few momentary lapses, Kentucky's defense was outstanding. They held Marshall to 18-of-61 shooting (29.5 percent) and forced quite a few turnovers (which should be even more if Nerlens Noel could ever get a charge called against him).
  • To the delight of basketball purists everywhere, the Wildcats' free-throw shooting was finally good (but not great). They went 21-of-27 (77.8 percent) from the stripe.


The Bad

  • Archie Goodwin managed to score 18 points, but most of that was from the free-throw line; he ended up 4-of-17 from the floor to go along with four turnovers.
  • Alex Poythress did not shoot poorly, but had trouble getting in sync with the rest of the offense, scoring only nine points on 3-of-5 shooting before heading to the bench near the end of the game after fouling out.
  • Julius Mays continued to struggle from the field, going 1-of-7 and 0-of-5 from behind the three-point line. 
  • Kentucky's three-point shooting was actually pretty bad overall; the Wildcats as a team shot 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) from behind the arc.


The Weird

  • According to Kentucky Sports Radio, the illness that kept Jon Hood out of today's game was mono. If true, than you have to feel bad for the poor kid; after being sidelined with an injury all of last year, it seems he just can't catch a break.


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