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Be Scared America: Kentucky Beat Vandy So Bad It Had People Reading Books In The Stands

Dear God, it’s time to pray for America. I mean I say this honestly. America made a mistake. It had Kentucky left for dead after the Alabama loss. Correction: It had Kentucky left for dead after the Seton Hall loss. Having to go to Louisville and play UNC on a neutral court, no way they’d win both, right?

Well, they did. Then they swept Auburn, Mississippi State and Kansas. And now? They are just beating the shit out of teams. Up 45-15 at halftime against Vandy – a team that took Tennessee to overtime and had the game won before a hook and hold call.

So what has changed? Well a couple of things. But, first things first it starts with PJ Washington:

Washington is viewed as a 1st round talent in the upcoming NBA Draft. He returned for his sophomore year with an effort to cut weight and extend his range. Well, in this stretch, he’s doing more than that. In the last 5 games, Washington is averaging 18 points, 8.4 rebounds and shooting 53% from three. He’s been downright awesome and the reason Kentucky can play the offense it wants to – centered around 2 bigs. We saw Vanderbilt and Kansas both try to double PJ Washington. That’s a mistake. He’s been an excellent passer out of all three levels from the post.

We should have known Vanderbilt was in trouble after this scene in the locker room. This is the most outrageous locker room I’ve seen:

The second thing that has helped Kentucky here in this run? The development of the freshman stars. Ashton Hagans has turned into the leader of this team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The dude might be the best on ball defender in the country. He’s also getting more confident in shooting without hesitation or passing up open looks from outside. Then there’s Tyler Herro, who has been sort of the go-to option on the wing. Herro’s ability to shoot from three just keeps the lane open for guys to drive.

Finally, Kentucky’s defense has turned the corner. This was a group that was awful at defending the 3-point line. Teams were just running pick and rolls against Reid Travis and attacking. It was ugly. Now, Nick Richards has stepped in and been the perfect 3rd big to protect the rim. They now have the 10th best defense in the country. They are still giving up looks from three, but the overall defense has improved. Again. this goes back to Hagans pretty much.

Either way, Kentucky is back to being a national title contender and everyone that’s not part of Big Blue Nation is scared. I already know I’ll hear about the asskicking from Duke or how they hate Kentucky. Easy team to hate when you win a million games.