In easily their worst game of the season, the Kentucky Wildcats defeated Old Dominion 62-52 to win the Hall Of Fame Tip-Off Championship. Watching the Wildcats for the first time this year, I was not impressed at all.
12 first-half turnovers threw up red flags for me. The second half wasn't much different for the Wildcats. Eight turnovers in the second half showed that it was an off night for the Wildcats.
Senior Darius Miller saved the Wildcats, coming off the bench to score 13 points. Miller also had five assists and three rebounds. Freshmen Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis also provided offense for Kentucky. Kidd-Gilchrist had 13 points and nine rebounds but five turnovers. Davis scored 11 points and also had nine rebounds.
If it wasn't for Old Dominion's terrible shooting Kentucky would have lost. The Monarchs shot a pitiful 32 percent from the field.
Kentucky has two easy games coming up before they tackle North Carolina. Seeing this shaky performance from the Cats has me wondering. If these freshmen don't get it together soon, Kentucky will lose at least four, if not five, games this season.
Marquis Teague and Kidd-Gilchrist will need to handle the ball better. Terrence Jones needs to make his presence felt early and often in the paint. Bench play will be a key for the Wildcats this season.
With only nine road games all season, Kentucky will be fine. The Wildcats should easily win 27 to 28 games during the regular season.