Kentucky Wildcats podcast: PJ Washington’s breakthrough, mounting basketball injuries and UK’s new quarterback

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A small dog barked, a woman sneezed, a baby cried and Kentucky beat writer Kyle Tucker schooled podcast host Curtis Burch on the intricate science behind college metabolism and dad bod.

It was a good episode of Wildcat Country, your daily Kentucky podcast presented by SEC Country, in which we talk takeaways from the basketball team’s New York trip and all the hype over new quarterback commitment Terry Wilson.

  • The most important thing that happened for UK at Madison Square Garden, as Kyle sees it, was freshman PJ Washington dominating: 20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks. He came in shooting under 50 percent at the free-throw line — which is dad told SEC Country last week should be his primary focus — then hit 9 of 9 against Monmouth. If  this is who Washington is going to be, the forecast for the Wildcats changes quite a bit.
  • Kyle doesn’t think it’s crazy that John Calipari said Washington lost 15 pounds in 17 days, because Kyle brags that he could do that back in his college-metabolism days — before coming down with chronic dad bod in recent years.
  • The No. 2 takeaway for Kyle was that freshman guard Hamidou Diallo is listening and taking Calipari’s coaching. Cal asked him to pick his spots from the 3-point line and focus more on driving, dishing and drawing fouls. He’s averaged 20.3 points, shot 63 percent from 2-point range and attempted 19 free throws over the last three games.
  • What do we make of the mounting injuries for Kentucky? Jarred Vanderbilt (foot) still hasn’t practiced with the Cats this season. Jemarl Baker (knee)  might be back toward the end of the season. And then Saturday, Sacha Killeya-Jones (ankle) sat out and Quade Green (poked in the eye) left the game and did not return. If those two can’t go this weekend, UK will be down to seven available scholarship players against a good Virginia Tech team.
  • We wrapped up the podcast with a long rant from Kyle about the unrestrained hype about JUCO QB commit Terry Wilson, who fans have already decided is way better than any option on the current roster — and the silly notion that onetime-savior Drew Barker can’t  be a good starter as a senior next fall.

Don’t miss any of our Cats coverage. Follow podcast host  @CurtisBurch  as well as  @KyleTucker_SEC  for hoops and football columns,  @Joe_Mussatto  for football team coverage, recruiting notes and UK-in-the-NBA rundowns.

The post Kentucky Wildcats podcast: PJ Washington’s breakthrough, mounting basketball injuries and UK’s new quarterback appeared first on SEC Country.

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