Seth Davis calls for change in Kentucky’s backcourt after Tennessee win

Kentucky went to Knoxville and beat No. 5 Tennessee with out its place to begin guard Sahvir Wheeler and Daimion Collins, who had been each out resulting from harm. As a consequence, the Cats needed to attempt some new lineups, and at last — lastly! — discovered one which labored. The quintet of Cason Wallace, Antonio Reeves, CJ Fredrick, Jacob Toppinand many others Oscar Tshiebwe discovered a groove on offense, propelling the Cats to the upset win.

Analytics guru Evan Miyakawa broke down the numbers in help of the lineup yesterday. Prior to Saturday, the group had solely performed collectively for 20 possessions; add in the 25 possessions vs. the Vols, and so they have the most effective numbers of any lineup this season.

Count Seth Davis amongst those that consider the lineup is the important thing to Kentucky turning issues round. In a school basketball pocket book this morning, Davis stated Calipari wants to stay with the lineup — even when it means conserving Sahvir Wheeler out of the beginning lineup.

“Kentucky’s win at Tennessee was the largest shock of the weekend, and whereas there are many the explanation why the Wildcats performed higher on Saturday than that they had all season, the one which stood out essentially the most was the truth that Sahvir Wheeler missed the sport with a shoulder harm. Wheeler is as fast in transition as any level guard in America, however his undependable capturing, mixed along with his unstable decision-making, could make him a legal responsibility in a halfcourt recreation. Senior ahead Jacob Toppin and freshman guard Cason Wallace, who had been recovering from accidents, mixed for 11 assists in the win, whereas 6-5 senior guard Antonio Reeves chipped in 18 factors off the bench.

“It appears clear to me that Kentucky’s finest lineup is these three plus Oscar Tshiebwe and CJ Fredrick (who additionally not too long ago returned from a three-game absence brought on by a damaged finger). Wheeler’s shoulder harm should not hold him out for lengthy, which implies that John Calipari goes to need to determine whether or not to re-insert Wheeler as his place to begin guard, or persist with the lineup that gave this system its greatest win in a very long time time. Calipari tends to be overly deferential to gamers in this example (Harrison twins, anybody?), however in this case, it is like a kind of soccer groups the place the beginning quarterback will get harm, and his backup comes and leads the staff to victory. Do you return to the starter, or do you stick with the new hand? In this case, the selection appears apparent, however I’m not assured Calipari is prepared to make it.

Seth Davis, The Athletic

According to Kentucky’s postgame notes from Saturday, Wheeler is taken into account day-to-day with the left shoulder harm, which he suffered in follow on Friday. No phrase on whether or not or not he’ll play in tomorrow’s recreation vs. Georgia

More nationwide reward for Kentucky

The AP and Coaches Polls will not come out till lunch, however you will not discover Kentucky on any of the opposite energy rankings or nationwide media Top 25s this morning. That stated, the Cats’ upset of Tennessee continues to be garnering reward. ESPN’s Jeff Borzello named it his “Win of the Week.”

Kentucky entered the weekend in disarray. Coming off a 26-point defeat to Alabama and a shocking residence loss to South Carolina, the Wildcats had been lacking key gamers to harm, had a coach linked to a different job and had been coping with experiences of upheaval behind the scenes inside the athletic division. And then they went into Knoxville and beat one of many hottest groups in the nation on their residence court docket.

Tennessee jumped out to an 8-0 lead early, and it seemed like extra of the identical from Kentucky. But an harm to Sahvir Wheeler compelled John Calipari to tweak his lineup, which allowed Antonio Reeves and CJ Fredrick to thrive. More importantly, the Wildcats performed with some ardour and vitality defensively. Oscar Tshiebwe was integral in conserving the Vols off the offensive glass, Jacob Toppin had some moments — and Tennessee ended up with its worst offensive efficiency since final February.

Jeff Borzello, ESPN

CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone additionally named Kentucky one in every of his Winners of the Week, mentioning Calipari’s resolution to remove the gamers’ iPhones and iPads the evening earlier than the Tennessee recreation.

UK nonetheless has a protracted strategy to go to smell its lofty preseason expectations, however the Wildcats have a manageable stretch of video games arising, and Saturday’s efficiency confirmed this squad has loads of combat left in the tank. Who’d have thought chopping down on display screen time could be such a magical repair? (We’ll see on that, after all, however profitable on the street towards this Tennessee staff is a superb step in the appropriate path.)

Kyle Boone, CBS Sports

Boone nonetheless gave the Cats a “C-” for the week as a result of unhealthy loss to South Carolina.

A street win over No. 5 Tennessee retains Kentucky from flunking the week. UK’s residence loss to South Carolina the sport prior continues to be inexplicable and borderline inexcusable for a staff as gifted because the ‘Cats.

Kyle Boone, CBS Sports

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