Great Weekend for UK Culminates with Big Transfer News
Kentucky's win over Mississippi State looked to me, at first, like the beginnings of the turning of a corner.
Then they struggled against a team--Vanderbilt--that RARELY gives them any trouble in Rupp Arena before squeaking out a three-point win over the Commodores.
And then I looked up and saw the Florida Gators dead ahead and I started getting nervous.
Here's a UK team that looked like it was starting to find itself only to be thrown into the cauldron that IS the O'Connell Center in Gainesville, where wins can be hard to come by under the BEST of circumstances.
But, good grief, how quickly my fears were assuaged when the 'Cats--with sophomore Keion Brooks back in the lineup after a leg injury--overcame a short-lived single-digit deficit, took the lead, and never looked back.
What impressed me so was how quickly they finished their read of the Gators' game plan. I've seen a lot of UK comebacks in recent years that didn't begin until the second half. But this match-up came together pretty quickly Saturday and Brooks was right there, calmly and efficiently leading the way, while NOT being the game's leading scorer and NOT knocking down a three (of course, that's really not his game). But, yeah, speculation about how important he is to this team seemed to go away.
Kentucky shot 55% against Florida and 46% from the three-point line, a nice and necessary improvement. Four UK players were in double digits by the end of the game. THAT is very important, going forward.
It was an exciting afternoon, watching Kentucky go up by 25 before winning by 18...on the road, in a tough environment.
So while Big Blue Nation was basking in a great win, Sunday brought more good news with the announcement that former West Virginia standout Oscar Tshiebwe, will be transferring to UK and will begin play in the 2021-2022 season.
The Lubumbashi, Congo native had been providing valuable minutes for the Mountaineers, averaging 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while connecting on 52% of his shots.
His freshman campaign was even better--11 points and 9 rebounds per game and a 70% shooting average.
He'll be a nice addition to a team that is BOUND to have players back from this initially uneven season, but a season looks like it's improving at a decent clip.
Up next for the 'Cats is a Tuesday night tilt against Alabama, who leads the SEC at 4-0. With UK currently in second place, one of these teams will top the SEC standings by the end of the night.