UK POSTGAME NOTES: Former Cat Boss Tubby Smith Honored at Rupp Arena
UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES HIGH POINTS at KENTUCKY RUPP ARENA AT CENTRAL BANK CENTER | LEXINGTON, KY. DEC. 31, 2021
Final Score: No. 18/17 Kentucky 92, High Point 48
Team Records, Series Notes, Etc.
· Kentucky won its fourth straight game to move to 11-2 this season. High Point fell to 6-8 in 2021-22.
· The Wildcats are now 4-0 all-time vs. High Point and 4-0 vs. the Panthers in Lexington, Kentucky.
· Kentucky improved to 10-0 in Rupp Arena this season and extended its home winning streak to 11 games, which dates back to last season.
· Prior to the game, current HPU head coach and former UK head coach Orlando “Tubby” Smith had a jersey retired in his honor. Smith was the head coach of the Wildcats for 10 years, from the 1997-98 season through the 2006-07 campaign. Under Smith, UK won the 1998 national championship, five regular-season Southeastern Conference championships and five SEC Tournament crowns. He is the 44th jersey to be added to the rafters.
· The announced attendance Sunday was 19,735, the second-biggest crowd of the season, behind the 20,221 fans for the Western Kentucky game.
· Next up: Kentucky returns to conference play on Tuesday when it travels to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to face LSU. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
· Kentucky limited High Point to 48 points, the fewest points the Wildcats have allowed since holding Morehead State to 45 points in the 2020-21 season opener on Nov. 25, 2020.
o UK remains a perfect 82-0 under Calipari when holding the opposition to 55 points or fewer, including 3-0 this season. The Wildcats are also 197-9 under Calipari when holding the opponent to 63 points or fewer, including 9-0 this season.
· The Wildcats were 39 of 66 from the field Friday afternoon, a season-high 59.1%. That’s their best shooting mark since making 64.2% of their attempts vs. Alabama on March 10, 2018, in the SEC Tournament.
· Kentucky made 10 of 26 3-pointers, the second time UK has made at least 10 treys this season. The Wildcats are 4-0 this season when making eight or more 3-pointers.
· UK held High Point to 19 of 61 from the floor, 31.1%. That’s the Wildcats’ best defensive field-goal percentage of the season and the best since Kansas shot 29.9% on Dec. 1, 2020, in last season’s Champions Classic.
o The last three Kentucky opponents have been held to 32.8% shooting or lower.
o The Wildcats improved to 217-24 under Calipari when they hold the opposition to 40% or less and 8-0 this season when holding the opponent below 40% from the field.
· Kentucky recorded 10 steals, its second time this season with double-figure swipes, and scored 18 points off 16 HPU turnovers.
· The Wildcats dominated High Point in virtually every phase of the game, including points in the paint (44-12), second-chance points (17-4), fast-break points (20-4) and bench points (28-8).
· The Wildcats led by as many as 45 points in the second half. UK is 297-12 in the Calipari era when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest.
· UK dished out 23 assists, the fifth time this season with 20 or more assists. Kentucky is a perfect 5-0 in those games.
· Even without a player in double-figure rebounding for only the second time this season, UK outrebounded High Point 45-27. The nation’s No. 1 team in rebounding margin has outrebounded its opponents by at least 14 in all 11 wins this season.
· Kellan Grady tied his season high with 23 points in 24 minutes of action after hitting a career-high-tying seven 3-pointers (on 10 attempts).
o It was his seventh game with three or more 3-pointers and the third time in the last four games.
o He has made 20 of 31 treys over the last four games and 25 of 45 over the last six games.
· TyTy Washington Jr., the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, just missed out on a double-double with 15 points and a career-high nine assists.
o Washington has dished out 31 assists over the last six games.
o He is averaging a team-high 15.2 points and shooting 53.5% in Kentucky’s 11 wins this season.
o Excluding the season opener he is shooting 52.9% from the field.
· Oscar Tshiebwe, who collected multiple national player of the week honors in addition to Co-SEC Player of the Week distinction this week, recorded 15 points and eight rebounds.
o After his Rupp Arena record 28 rebounds vs. Western Kentucky and 20 vs. Missouri on Wednesday, he has grabbed 56 boards over the last three games.
o It was just the second time the nation’s leading rebounder has been limited to double-figure boards (he did not play the final 11:32 of game time).
· Sahvir Wheeler, who entered Wednesday’s game ranked second nationally in assists per game (7.8), recorded another seven on Friday.
o It was his 11th game this season with at least six dimes this season.
· Keion Brooks Jr. contributed nine points, seven rebounds and three assists.
· Davion Mintz added 10 points. It marked the third time this season he’s reached double figures and first since a 12-point outing against Ohio on Nov. 19.
· Brennan Canada, Zan Payne and Kareem Watkins all played a career-high three minutes.
· John Calipari is now 350-95 at UK.
· Calipari now has a 795-235 all-time on-court record.
· UK improved to 286-56 under Calipari in games vs. unranked Associated Press competition.
· Calipari notched his first victory vs. High Point in his first career game against the program.
· The Wildcats are 198-17 in Rupp Arena under Calipari’s watch, including 176-11 vs. unranked AP foes.
· Kentucky improved to 104-6 at home vs. nonconference foes in Rupp Arena under Calipari.
In the First Half
· Kentucky started Sahvir Wheeler, TyTy Washington Jr., Kellan Grady, Keion Brooks Jr. and Oscar Tshiebwe for the 12th time this season and the sixth game in a row. UK is now 10-2 with that starting lineup.
· Washington opened the game with a 3-pointer on the first possession, the 10th time in the last 11 games he has hit a 3-pointer.
· Jacob Toppin checked in at 13:47 for UK’s first sub.
· High Point hung close for a while. Grady’s second 3-pointer of the half capped a brief 6-0 run to put the Wildcats up 20-14 midway through the stanza.
· UK pulled in front by double figures for the first time at 32-22 with a 6-0 run in under a minute late in the first half. Washington capped the run with a jumper that followed the Wildcats’ first forced 10-second backcourt violation of the season.
· Kentucky took its biggest lead of the half at 43-25 with an 11-0 stretch leading into halftime. Tshiebwe and Grady put the exclamation points on the run. First, Wheeler dropped a bounce pass on the fastbreak for a two-hand Tshiebwe dunk, and then Grady picked off a pass seconds later and drove around his man for a one-hand slam.
· Washington starred in the first half with 10 points (on 4-of-6 shooting) to go along with six assists.
· Tshiebwe added nine points and five rebounds, Grady scored eight points, and Brooks enjoyed an all-around solid first half with six points and five boards.
· Making five straight field goals to end the half and eight of their last nine, the Wildcats made 18 of 31 shots in the first half, 58.1%.
In the Second Half
· UK opened the second half with the same starting five as the first half: Wheeler, Washington, Grady, Brooks and Tshiebwe.
· After High Point scored the first points of the second half, Kentucky – ignited by a red-hot Grady – got back on track. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Grady put the Wildcats up 53-34 with 15:46 to go.
o Grady’s six points ignited a 14-0 run over 2:35 of game time to increase the Wildcats’ advantage to 61-34 at the 14:05 mark.
· Grady made another set of back-to-back 3-pointers to get the score to 67-37 with 13:11 left. At that point he was 5 of 6 from long range less than seven minutes into the second half
· The runs kept coming. A 17-0 stretch midway through the second half – primarily with UK’s bench in the game – put the Wildcats up 84-39 at the under-8 timeout.
· The Wildcats outscored High Point 49-23 in the second half.
· UK shot 21 of 35 in the second half, 60.0%.
· Grady led the Wildcats with 15 points in the stanza.