Kentucky basketball: 3 takeaways from UK’s NCAA Tournament win against Davidson

BOISE, Idaho — Kentucky beat Davidson 78-73 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night. The Wildcats await the winner of the Arizona-Buffalo game.

Here are three takeaways from Kentucky’s opening round win.

An engaged Hamidou Diallo

The redshirt freshman shooting guard was all over the place in the first half. Hamidou Diallo went to the locker room with only 4 points and 3 rebounds, but he added 3 blocks and a steal. Diallo probably isn’t a top-5 offensive player on this team, but his length allows him to be an elite defender … when he wants to be.

We didn’t always see it in the regular season, but Diallo is fighting to be a first-round NBA draft pick. He’s running out of time to show what he can do. That sense of urgency showed on the defensive end.

Too strong

One Wildcats team is built on a roster full of 3-point shooters. While potentially potent, its athleticism doesn’t stand out. The other Wildcats team has a slew of 6-foot-6 and taller players who want to get to the rim and rough things up inside with length and strength.

Kentucky, obviously, is the latter, and its strength was a tad too much for the considerably smaller Davidson team.

That being said, it sure was fun to watch how a team like Davidson — delightful to watch as it drains threes — can contend with Kentucky for 40 minutes. The Wildcats were fortunate that more Davidson threes didn’t find the bucket, or this result could’ve been flipped.

3-point woes return

Kentucky snapped out of its midseason shooting funk in the SEC Tournament last weekend, but the Cats couldn’t get anything to fall from long range against Davidson.

Kentucky was 0 of 6 from three, snapping a 1,047-game streak with a made 3-pointer.

Meanwhile, Davidson was 11 of 33 from 3-point range. Davidson didn’t shoot a good percentage, but the long ball kept it in the game.

The post Kentucky basketball: 3 takeaways from UK’s NCAA Tournament win against Davidson appeared first on SEC Country.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.