So this is the first Saturday with just a full college basketball slate which has not . disappointed after the noon games. We had Kentucky/Seton Hall at the Garden with Gus on the call. Needless to say it lived up to the Gus hype. I mean where else would we see a game with these two shots back to back:
First we have to start with Myles Powell. The dude was unreal for Seton Hall. Kentucky actually did a great job in the first half limiting him to 3 points. The defense wasn’t even that bad in the second half. Powell just caught fire. He was running off double screens to catch and shoot from the NBA three. It was impressive. It’s who he is. When he gets going, he gets absolutely going. The one complaint you can have if you’re a Kentucky fan was switching when it came to this. You have to run him off the line more on a consistent basis. Regardless, Powell finished with 28 and really was the reason Seton Hall went on that 11-0 run to give them the lead in the second half. If he doesn’t get going, Kentucky pushes that 7 point lead to double digits.
So let’s talk about Kentucky for a second. There are some obvious problems with this team. First – Tyler Herro. He came into the season as one of the better shooters in the class of 2018. He has yet to shoot the ball well and in a game like this where he had three wide open looks late in the game and wasn’t even close on them is a real problem. Kentucky doesn’t run a modern offense. They want to get the ball in the post and then kick out. They were executing that and Herro had two chances to seal the game.
Second – the offense in general. They need to do a couple things. You have to really limit the rotations. Quade Green and Nick Richards should be playing limited minutes now. Yes, Green is a decent shooter but his decision making is atrocious and is a negative defensively. Start getting creative with the rotation too. We saw in overtime Kentucky run Hagans/Herro/Quickley/Johnson/Washington when Travis fouled out. Run more of that. Give Washington/Travis more space to post. Let Johnson do what he does best and curl and ISO into mid post. This offense needs to be modernized immediately.
Now, do I think this loss means Kentucky is now a bubble team or something like that? No and not just because I am a Kentucky grad. We are seeing this more with Kentucky now. They lose an early game like this to a team they probably shouldn’t. It happened in Brooklyn a few years back to Ohio State before Jamal Murray found his footing. Kentucky has had great recruiting classes but they haven’t had that top end guy the last couple years. So we’re seeing them take longer to adjust to the college game than what happened in 2015 and 2012 and 2010.
This was a great win for Seton Hall though. Myles Powell was unbelievable and Kevin Willard continues to be a coach not talked about enough.