CatsIllustrated - QUICK TAKES: Kentucky vs. Southern
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QUICK TAKES: Kentucky vs. Southern

Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe slammed in two of his game-high 23 points.
Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe slammed in two of his game-high 23 points. (Jeff Drummond/Cats Illustrated)

In our regular postgame feature, the Cats Illustrated staff offers its first impressions from the Wildcats' victory over the Jaguars on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena...

JEFF DRUMMOND:

This one was somewhat predictable from a number of angles: (1) Kentucky had not played in eight days and looked a bit rusty in its return to the court; (2) The Cats had almost their entire roster back for the first time since the season opener, so cohesion was likely going to be a factor; and (3) Sean Woods has a lot of pride, and his guys came into Rupp playing really hard for him. Add all of that up, and you get a game where the Cats didn't come anywhere near covering the 30 points that the guys out in Vegas were forecasting. Oscar Tshiebwe had some foul trouble tonight but still delivers 23 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocked shots. As the dust settles, the end of a dreadful stretch of non-conference games at Rupp Arena is finally over. Time to find out what this team is really about beginning Saturday at Notre Dame.

JUSTIN ROWLAND:

It wasn't a blowout and some are probably going to take issue with the margin and how Kentucky looked at times. I'm not going to put much stock into it. Kentucky has played as a huge favorite in a bunch of games in a row, they've had a long layover, and it just looked like the starters came out flat. The first half was about the bench needing to spark the team with some guys in foul trouble. In the second half Oscar Tshiebwe just took over and beat up a Southern team that was ill-equipped to battle with him around the rim. There are small points to be made: Kentucky's not shooting as well from outside as we expected, the minutes at forward are still up for grabs, etc. But we're overdue for better opponents and more competitive games.

TRAVIS GRAF:

Kentucky did some good things and some bad things tonight, but I kind of expected them to come out flat after an eight-day hiatus and playing a so-so opponent. They assisted on 18 buckets and got the shots they wanted. A bunch didn’t fall, however, and free throws weren’t falling either. TyTy Washington and Kellen Grady need more shots consistently, and some of that is them being too passive. The Cats desperately need to find a lineup that works without Oscar on the floor before they hit conference play.